sport

Ranieri makes Monaco exit

Ligue 1 runners-up Monaco have announced the departure of head coach Claudio Ranieri.

The 62-year-old Italian joined the principality club in May 2012 and secured promotion to the top flight at the first time of asking, but leaves after failing to beat Paris Saint-Germain to the French championship.

Monaco vice-president Vasim Vasilyev told a press conference: "I can confirm the departure of Claudio Ranieri. We have taken the decision to part ways.

"I would like to acknowledge the very good job that Ranieri has done."

The long-term future of the former Chelsea and Valencia boss had been the subject of growing speculation despite the fact he guided Monaco into the Champions League.

Les Rouges et Blancs finished nine points behind PSG and eight above third-placed Lille on their return to Ligue 1.

"It was a difficult decision," Vasilyev added. "It's never easy when the results are good."

"But we believe that at this stage of the project we need to find a new dynamic."

Reports in France suggest Leonardo Jardim - the Sporting Lisbon manager - is poised to replace Ranieri at the Stade Louis II on a two-year contract, but Vasilyev could not name the Portuguese on Tuesday afternoon.

Vasilyev added: "I cannot confirm the name of the new coach while the details are still being sorted.

"We are looking for a coach who has an attacking philosophy and who can create a good show for our supporters."

Rome-born Ranieri can also number Parma, Juventus and Inter Milan among his former clubs and most notably won the 1999 Copa del Rey with Valencia.

He had expressed a clear desire to stay at Monaco over recent weeks, but Saturday's 1-1 season-ending draw against Bordeaux proved to be his last game in charge.

Monaco were runners-up to Porto in the 2004 Champions League final and, newly cash-rich thanks to the backing of Russian businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev, they are targeting a fresh tilt at Europe's top prize.

To that end, top-rated players including Radamel Falcao, James Rodriguez, Eric Abidal and Joao Moutinho have been expensively recruited over the last 12 months.