Claudio Ranieri is back in football after the French league waived its age rules and gave Nantes permission to appoint the 65-year-old.

The former Leicester manager, who was sacked less than a season after leading them to a Premier League title, is believed to have signed a two-year deal after the Ligue de Football Professionnel gave special dispensation for the club to appoint a manager over the age of 65.

Rules set by LFP, operating under the French Football Federation, dictate that coaches aged 65 or over cannot be employed by league clubs. However, after the club appealed, the LFP released a statement which read: “The LFP’s legal commission have decided to authorise the signing of a professional contract between Monsieur Ranieri and Nantes.”

Ranieri replaces Sérgio Conceição who left Nantes earlier this month to take charge of Porto. In a much-travelled career which has seen him take charge of 15 clubs, the Italian has managed Juventus, Roma and Internazionale as well Atlético Madrid, Valencia and Chelsea.

He also has experience of French domestic football, having overseen Monaco’s promotion to Ligue 1 in 2012-13 before guiding them to second place behind Paris Saint-Germain the following season.

Nantes had hoped to convince Conceição to stay following his short stay in France. The former Portugal winger took charge in December with the club languishing in 19th place but they went on to finish seventh – just missing out on a Europa League place.

The club have won the French league title eight times but have not done so since 2001.

This article was written by Mark Dobson, for The Guardian on Tuesday 13th June 2017 19.07 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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