Premier League club Watford names Claudio Ranieri as new head coach


Watford have appointed Claudio Ranieri as their new head coach on a two-year contract after sacking Xisco Munoz.

The Italian, who guided Leicester City to the Premier League title in 2016, left his role as Sampdoria manager at the end of last season.

Watford, who are 15th in the Premier League with seven points from seven games, sacked head coach Munoz after less than 10 months in charge on Sunday morning.

Spaniard Munoz, 41, replaced Vladimir Ivic in December 2020 and guided the club to automatic promotion from the Championship last season.

Watford’s head coaches under Gino Pozzo

The Hornets’ next appointment will be their 15th permanent head coach in a decade

NameHiredLeftDays in charge 
Javi GraciaJanuary 21, 2018September 7, 2019594594
Gianfranco ZolaJuly 8, 2012December 16, 2013526526
Quique Sanchez FloresJune 5, 2015June 30, 2016391391
Sean Dyche*June 21, 2011July 8, 2012383383
Walter MazzarriJuly 1, 2016May 21, 2017324324
Xisco MunozDecember 21, 2020October 3, 2021286286
Guiseppe SanninoDecember 18, 2013August 31, 2014256256
Slavisa JokanovicOctober 7, 2014June 4, 2015240240
Marco SilvaMay 27, 2017January 21, 2018239239
Nigel PearsonDecember 6, 2019July 19, 2020226226
Vladimir IvicAugust 15, 2020December 21, 2020128128
Quique Sanchez Flores (2)September 7, 2019December 1, 20198585
Oscar GarciaSeptember 2, 2014September 29, 20142727
Billy McKinlaySeptember 29, 2014October 7, 201488

Munoz’s last match in charge was a 1-0 defeat against Leeds at Elland Road on Saturday.

Ranieri is Watford’s 13th different permanent boss since the Pozzo family completed their takeover of Watford in 2012.

Ranieri, who will be 70 later this month and has also managed Chelsea and Fulham, is well-known by the Watford owners with it believed he has been a candidate for the role in the past.

His first game in charge will be against Liverpool in the Premier League at Vicarage Road after the international break on October 16.

Watford’s next eight games:

Liverpool (h)October 16
Everton (a)October 23
Southampton (h)October 30
Arsenal (a)November 7
Manchester United (h)November 20
Leicester (a)November 28
Chelsea (h)November 30 (fixture will move to a date later in the week)
Manchester City (h)December 4

Watford confirmed Ranieri will be joined by assistant coaches Paolo Benetti and Carlo Cornacchia, as well as fitness coach Carlo Spignoli.