Leicester next permanent manager odds
Claudio Ranieri became a hugely popular figure in the East Midlands city of Leicester last season, after guiding The Foxes to their first ever top flight trophy.
Their Premier League victory came as a shock to most, with the club tipped for relegation at the start of the season. However, Leicester City and Ranieri put their names in the history books by toppling the likes of Manchester City, Chelsea, Tottenham and Arsenal.
Unsurprisingly, Leicester City set about awarding their star players with bumper new contracts. The likes of Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez were tied down to new deals, as was Claudio Ranieri, and the Italian boss insisted that he was at the club for the long haul.
“From the moment I talked to the owners about their vision for Leicester City, I knew it was something I wanted to be part of for a long time,” Ranieri stated after agreeing to stay on at the club until 2020.
Yet, with Leicester City struggling to replicate last season’s stellar form, how long will Ranieri be given to turn their slump around and who will The Foxes turn to should they part ways with their Premier League winning coach?
It was Ranieri’s Premier League experience that earned him the Leicester job, and the club should look for somebody of the same mould this time round.
Guus Hiddink would be a good fit. The Dutch boss revealed earlier this year that the club approached him ahead of Ranieri prior to the 2015/16 campaign and it is easy to see why. Ranieri’s success is largely down to man management skills and Hiddink offers much the same. Leicester will need a likeable figure at the helm if they are to convince their star players to stay on beyond the end of the season and Hiddink could be just the man for the job.
Former Swansea City boss Michael Laudrup is another option for the club. The Danish manager insisted that he would only return to England to take charge of a ‘big club’ when linked with the West Ham job last year, but the current champions could have enough quality to turn his head.
Of course, despite guiding the Swans to the League Cup, Laudrup’s Premier League reign came to a bitter end which resulted in a legal battle between the two parties. While he undoubtedly has the quality to lead the club, his past could come back to haunt him.
Rafa Benitez would be another good choice if the club are looking to make a statement - Leicester City would be adding their name to an impressive résumé, which currently includes the likes of Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid.
Benitez is currently flying high in the Championship with Newcastle United and it would be hard to convince him to abandon his project there before the end of the season. Yet, Benitez has the experience to take Leicester City to the next level and the trophies to prove it.