Leicester sack Ranieri – Mancini early favourite to come in

Leicester City have parted company with manager Claudio Ranieri and Roberto Mancini has quickly been installed as the  favourite to replace him at The King Power Stadium.

The decision comes just nine months after Leicester were crowned champions of England – but they are on such a bad run of form they are in danger of becoming the first top-flight holders to be relegated since Manchester City in 1938.

They currently sit just a point above the relegation zone and Leicester’s Thai owners have now decided to part company with the most successful boss in the club’s history, who took charge of the club in July 2015.

Vice Chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha said: “This has been the most difficult decision we have had to make in nearly seven years since King Power took ownership of Leicester City. But we are duty-bound to put the Club’s long-term interests above all sense of personal sentiment, no matter how strong that might be.

“It was never our expectation that the extraordinary feats of last season should be replicated this season. Indeed, survival in the Premier League was our first and only target at the start of the campaign. But we are now faced with a fight to reach that objective and feel a change is necessary to maximise the opportunity presented by the final 13 games.”

Leicester fans have reacted badly to the decision, including Match of the Day presenter and Foxes fan Gary Lineker and former striker Tony Cottee.

In charge

Assistant Manager Craig Shakespeare and First Team Coach Mike Stowell will take temporary charge of the squad until a new boss is selected, which could happen before their next game with Liverpool on Monday and bookmakers believe that man could be Roberto Mancini – currently without a club.

Mancini’s last season in England was as manager of Manchester City in 2013, leaving with the fourth-best win percentage in Premier League history, behind only Jose Mourinho, Sir Alex Ferguson and Carlo Ancelotti.

He went on to manage Turkish giants Galatasaray before returning to Inter Milan, a job he left last August. He was seen in England earlier this year, taking in a number of Premier League games and it was confirmed he wanted to return to the Premier League.

And Leicester do have a liking for Mancini, as they were the club he finished his career with in 2001 and he has always held an affection for the club.

BetVictor are now listing Mancini as short as 11/8 having first listed him at 16/1 and they see him as firm favourite for the role.

“It goes to show people have got short memories”

TheGamblingTimes.com spoke with The People’s chief sports writer Neil Moxley – who is based in the Midlands – and he feels nothing but sympathy for Ranieri.

“It goes to show people have got short memories and when it comes to the rich vein of cash in the Premier League, people will act to protect it. You have to feel dreadfully sorry for Claudio,” Moxley told TheGamblingTimes.com.

We also spoke with BetVictor’s head of Ante Post Football betting Mike Triffitt and he told TheGamblingTimes.com: “Manager markets are all about educated guessing and following the money. In a supply and demand environment, as a price is taken it subsequently shortens and after laying 16-1 and all rates down to 2/1 we are currently 7/4 Roberto Mancini.

“Some of the leading names, although looking dubious such as Nigel Pearson, have been popular with punters and the former Foxes gaffer is 6/1 from 25/1! In almost 30 years in the betting industry nothing ever really surprises me anymore and I have learnt to respect the power of the pound!!

Odds on next Leicester manager with BetVictor: 
Roberto Mancini 11/8
Gary Rowett 4/1
Alan Pardew 8/1
Nigel Pearson 8/1
Mark Warburton 12/1
Roy Hodgson 14/1
Frank De Boer 10/1
Kenny Jackett 25/1
Chris Hughton 25/1
Martin O’Neill 16/1
Rafa Benitez 25/1
Sean Dyche 25/1
David Wagner 25/1
Gus Poyet 25/1
Mike Phelan 25/1
Eddie Howe 25/1
Jaap Stam 25/1
Muzzy Izzet 25/1
Steve McClaren 25/1
Alex McLeish 25/1
Billy Davies 25/1
Brian McDermott 25/1
Danny Cowley 25/1
Darren Ferguson 25/1
Dougie Freedman 25/1
Frank Lampard 25/1
Gary Neville 25/1
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink 25/1
Malky Mackay 25/1
Michael Appleton 25/1
Neal Ardley 25/1
Neil Lennon 25/1
Nigel Clough 25/1
Oscar Garcia 25/1
Phil Neville 25/1
Robbie Savage 25/1
Roy Keane 25/1
Ryan Giggs 25/1
Steve Clarke 25/1
Steve Cotterill 25/1
Steven Pressley 25/1
Stuart Pearce 25/1
Tim Sherwood 25/1
Odds correct at time of publication

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