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Ranieri brushes off Zidane rumours

SoccerNews in Ligue 1 28 Apr 2014

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Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri has denied reports that Zinedine Zidane could be in line to replace him at the Ligue 1 club.

Former Chelsea, Juventus and Inter boss Ranieri has guided Monaco to qualification for the UEFA Champions League in their first season back in the French top flight following promotion from Ligue 2 last term.

However, Ranieri, who has a year remaining on his contract at the Stade Louis II, is rumoured to be on the verge of being sacked by Monaco’s Russian billionaire owner Dmitry Rybolovlev.

A 3-1 Coupe de France semi-final defeat to Guingamp earlier this month upped the pressure on the Italian, with Zidane – currently serving as an assistant to Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid – tipped as a potential replacement.

But the 62-year-old has been quick to dismiss suggestions that French football legend Zidane is set to take charge at the principality outfit.

“Zidane has the media behind him but I have 75 points,” Ranieri said in quotes reported by the French media.

“Only Zidane? But it seems that all the names want to come to Monaco? You journalists love your many rumours. This is a good position to take because Monaco is a great club but no-one will replace Ranieri. Ranieri will continue.”

Monaco cut the gap to Ligue 1 leaders PSG, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Sochaux at the weekend, to eight points with a 4-1 triumph over already relegated Ajaccio.

PSG will still win a second straight title next Wednesday if they beat Rennes and Monaco fail to get revenge on Guingamp.

“For us, the goal was not to delay the coronation of PSG,” Ranieri added.

“We play every game to win. We’ve got 75 points, which is fine in my opinion, but I still want more. This is important for our pride. Especially as we’ve played without (Radamel) Falcao since November.”

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