ITALY

Ranieri plays down Italy talk: "I'll be at Nantes next year"

Nantes head coach Claudio Ranieri says he will honour his contract at the Ligue 1 club amid speculation regarding the Italy job.

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I'll be at Nantes next year - Ranieri plays down Italy talk

Claudio Ranieri insists he will still be the Nantes head coach next season, despite speculation linking him with the vacant Italy job.

Ranieri rows back on previous Italy stance

Former Leicester City boss Ranieri is reportedly among the candidates for the Azzurri, who sacked Gian Piero Ventura after they failed to reach the World Cup, with interest in Antonio Conte, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Mancini also mooted.

And the Premier League title-winner had previously suggested he would ask to leave Nantes if Italy came calling, but now says he will stay in Ligue 1 for another year.

"I have a two-year contract with Nantes"

"I'm under contract with Nantes," he told Canal+ after a 2-1 defeat to Monaco. "The media say one day I'm going to Italy, another to Nice.

"I'll be at Nantes next year, because I have a two-year contract with them."

Nantes had looked set to qualify for the Europa League in the early months of Ranieri's tenure, but a run of just one win in nine matches has seen them fall to eighth - although still just two points shy of fifth-placed Rennes ahead of Sunday's matches.