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Wednesday 19 December 2018

Ranieri sets big target at Fulham

Return: Claudio Ranieri
Return: Claudio Ranieri

Claudio Ranieri has his sights set higher than mere Premier League survival following his return to management at Fulham.

Fulham chairman Shahid Khan announced via a statement yesterday morning that Slavisa Jokanovic had been sacked and replaced by Ranieri, who memorably led Leicester to the title in 2016.

The Italian has been given a "multi-year" contract as Fulham hope to lift themselves off the bottom of the table, after Jokanovic managed just five points from 12 Premier League matches despite shelling out£100million to bolster their squad following promotion from the Championship.

Ranieri believes there is "exceptional talent" in the Fulham squad and he is already looking up the table ahead of what will be his first game in charge against fellow strugglers Southampton at Craven Cottage on November 24.

"It is an honour to accept Mr Khan's invitation and opportunity to lead Fulham, a fantastic club with tradition and history," said Ranieri,.

"The objective at Fulham should never be to merely survive in the Premier League. We must be a difficult opponent and should expect to succeed.

"This Fulham squad has exceptional talent that is contrary to its position in the table. I know this team is very capable of better performances, which we will work on straight away as we prepare for Southampton at the Cottage."

Khan said Ranieri's experience and know-how about the Premier League made him the obvious candidate for the job.

"Claudio is risk-free and ready-made for the Premier League, his recent body of work with Leicester City is literally legendary. Then you look at Claudio's experience with Chelsea and big clubs throughout Europe, and it's pretty evident we are welcoming an extraordinary football man to Fulham Football Club," he said.

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