Mancini at short odds to become next Leicester manager

London: Former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is the bookmakers’ favourite to replace compatriot Claudio Ranieri as Leicester City manager after the Italian was sacked by the Premier League champions on Thursday.
British bookmaker Sky Bet was offering odds of 6/4 on Mancini taking over relegation-threatened Leicester, while William Hill had the 2011-12 Premier League-winning coach at 13/8 by 1232 GMT.
“I am sorry for my friend Ranieri. He will remain in the history of Leicester City, in the heart of Leicester fans and all football lovers,” Mancini tweeted.
Mancini, who left Inter Milan last August, won the Premier League with City in 2012.
Former Leicester manager Nigel Pearson is second-favourite for the job, with Alan Pardew, Guus Hiddink, Neil Lennon, Frank de Boer and Gary Rowett the other leading contenders.
Ranieri is a hugely popular figure after leading 5,000-1 outsiders Leicester to the title last season, even though the team is now just a point and a place away from relegation. In England, well-known soccer commentators were quick to criticise Ranieri’s dismissal.
Former England captain Gary Lineker said in a BBC radio interview: “What he did last year was extraordinary.” “I think the lack of gratitude from the owners or whoever was involved in the decision beggars belief. “You could explain it in some ways as a panic decision, and for me a wrong decision. It’s very sad,” he said.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, who was sacked by Chelsea in December 2015, less than a year after winning the title, posted a message of support for Ranieri on Instagram. — Reuters