Fulham axe Jokanovic and appoint Ranieri

Fulham have sacked Slavisa Jokanovic and appointed former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri as manager.

Ranieri, 66, managed Chelsea between 2000 and 2004. In 2016 he sensationally led Leicester City to the Premier League title.

The Italian was sacked by Leicester the following year and has since had a spell in charge of French club Nantes.

Ranieri’s long managerial career has also included spells at Napoli, Fiorentina, Juventus, Parma, Roma, Inter Milan, Valencia, Atletico Madrid and the Greek national side.

Jokanovic led Fulham back to the Premier League via the play-offs last season and won plaudits for his side’s slick brand of football.

But their open style was disastrous in the top flight and he leaves with the Whites bottom of the table with just five points after 12 matches.

Fulham revealed the change on Wednesday morning, announcing that Ranieri had signed “multi-year” contract at Craven Cottage.

“Making a change without having the right answer or succession plan was not an option,” said Fulham chairman Shahid Khan.

“So having someone of Claudio’s calibre ready to accept our challenge was comforting but, most of all, essential.

“Claudio is risk-free and ready-made for the Premier League, and particularly so for what we need at this moment at Fulham.

Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic
Jokanovic led Fulham back to the Premier League. [Picture: John Walton/PA Wire]

“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.”

Ranieri said: “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.”