London, Oct 5 (IANS) Premier League side Watford has named Claudio Ranieri as its new head coach. The Italian, who led Leicester City to the 2016 Premier League title and who celebrates his 70th birthday later this month, has agreed a two-year contract and will make his debut in their dugout against Liverpool on October 16.
He had been a free agent since leaving Sampdoria at the end of last season and becomes Watford’s 13th permanent coach since the club was taken over by the Pozzo family in 2012.
Ranieri has ample experience of coaching in England, working with Chelsea and Fulham as well as Leicester, and has also coached such clubs as Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Juventus, Roma, Inter Milan, Fiorentina and Parma, as well as the Greek national team.
He replaces Xisco Munoz, who was sacked after leading Watford to promotion last season and who leaves the club in 15th place in the Premier League with seven points from seven games, reports Xinhua.
“It’s been a wonderful journey and it concluded in a way that I neither expected nor wished for. My heartfelt thanks to the players to put blind faith and believing in me and my staff from the first moment so that together we could achieve the dream of promotion to the Premier League,” commented Munoz on Twitter.