They maybe the reigning Premier League champions, but just eight months after being crowned, Leicester City are facing relegation and Claudio Ranieri hopes fellow Italian coach Antonio Conte is the one to to succeed him with current leaders Chelsea.
Ranieri took the Foxes to the top last season, a feat that seemed impossible, but now Leicester sit in 15th spot of the 20-team standing, 31 points adrift of his former club after 21 games.
At the weekend the Foxes were defeated 3-0 by Chelsea at home and now face a run of away games, the first one being Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium and this is where his focus will be.
But on Tuesday, Ranieri was in Florence at the Palazzo Vecchio as the greats of the Italian game gathered for an epic awards night where amongst others, the Italian will inducted at the Italian Hall of Fame, for his achievement of winning last season’s Premier League title.
Speaking to reporters, he said: “As former Chelsea coach and as an Italian supporter, I hope that Conte can achieve the goal.
“He came without uproar but demonstrated that the Italian school of coaches is valid more than ever,” he added
The Leicester manager is contracted to the midlands club until 2020 but although he says he has no plans to return to Serie A, he is unsure of his future and adds, “Never say never.”
“I hope to remain in England, I’m good here, even though in football one day you are in the stars and the next day in the dust, so never say never,” the 65-year-old said.
Leicester face Seville in the first round of the knockout stage in Spain on February 22 with the second leg at the King Power on March 14.