Fulham appointed former Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri as new manager after sensationally sacking Slavisa Jokanovic.
Jokanovic becomes the first Premier League managerial casualty of the season after six successive defeats left Fulham bottom of the table, three points adrift of safety.
Ranieri, who led Leicester to the Premier League title in 2016, has been without a job since leaving Nantes at the end of last season. His first match in charge will be against Southampton at Craven Cottage on November 24.
The west London club have announced the Italian has been handed a ‘multi-year’ contract with the objective of leading Fulham away from relegation danger in their first season back in the top-flight since 2014.
Fulham chairman Shahid Khan has now decided to act with the side having taken just five points from 12 matches. Ranieri told the club’s website: “It is an honour to accept Mr. Khan’s invitation and opportunity to lead Fulham, a fantastic club with tradition and history.
” The objective at Fulham should never be to merely survive in the Premier League. We must at all times be a difficult opponent and should expect to succeed. This Fulham squad has exceptional talent that is contrary to its position in the table. ”
“I know this team is very capable of better performances, which we will work on straight away as we prepare for Southampton at the Cottage.”
Ranieri was a surprise appointment by late Leicester chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in July 2015 following the dismissal of Nigel Pearson, but the Italian miraculously guided the Foxes to the Premier League title in his first season.
The 67-year-old was sacked at the King Power Stadium just nine months after the 5,000-1 success story in February 2017 before he took over the reins at Ligue 1 Nantes in June later that year.
He left the Ligue 1 club after finishing ninth in his only season in France, but he has now taken his 16th managerial position. Jokanovic guided Fulham back to the Premier League for the first time in four years after beating Aston Villa in the Championship play-off final last May, and chairman Khan thanked the outgoing manager.
“I wasn’t anticipating having to make this announcement related to Slavisa and wish the circumstances were such that I didn’t have to, but our path this season has led me to make what I know is the correct decision, at the right time, for our players, the Club and our supporters,” Khan said.
” Slavisa will always have my appreciation and respect for everything he did to return Fulham to top-flight football. I am hoping everyone in the Fulham Family shares my heartfelt sentiments for Slavisa and joins me in wishing him success and good fortune, wherever his next stop may be. ”
“Claudio is risk-free and ready-made for the Premier League, and particularly so for what we need at this moment at Fulham.
“His recent body of work with Leicester City is literally legendary, and then you look at Claudio’s experience with Chelsea and big clubs throughout Europe, and it’s pretty evident we are welcoming an extraordinary football man to Fulham Football Club.”