The managerial merry-go-round in France is in full swing this weekend and it seems that former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri is the next name to be released from his position as AS Monaco continue their plans for next season.
French newspaper L’Equipe has revealed this morning that they believe Benfica boss Jorge Jesus has been offered a two-year deal with the Monegasque club, and he will likely confirm the offer after the Europa League final against Sevilla on May 14.
If true, it is a big blow for Ranieri, given that the Italian boss has guided Monaco up from Ligue 2 and has now secured a place in next season’s Champions League for the side from Monte Carlo.
The job that Ranieri has done has been very impressive; he has had to knit together a brand new team, almost instantly, and has dealt with the egos of a number of players while also developing a playing style and changing tactics multiple times to great effect.
Colombian midfielder James Rodriguez has enjoyed an amazing season, and a lot of the credit for that must go to Ranieri. He took James from the wide-right role, changed Monaco’s formation from 4-4-2 to 4-2-3-1 and has turned him into a very effective and devastating central play-maker. Only PSG’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic has more assists than James this season.
Ranieri also had to deal with the loss of €60million striker Radamel Falcao for the second half of the season. The Colombian suffered a terrible knee injury, but it did not stop Monaco from cementing second place in the league. Ranieri using young Anthony Martial initially and then getting the best out of former Manchester United forward Dimitar Berbatov for the final few weeks.
It seems that Ranieri’s face just did not fit at Monaco, and Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev may want a bigger name to guide this team forward. Jorge Jesus will reportedly be asked to combine the talents of Falcao, James and Joao Moutinho - players that all played in Portugal - along with whoever Monaco bring in for the new campaign.
Although Ranieri is a hugely experienced coach, Jesus's reputation is currently sky-high. It would be a harsh move to remove Ranieri after the job he has done, but hopefully his excellent work in France will help him find another job quickly if he does leave Monaco this summer.