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Ranieri ignoring speculation

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 Apr 2014

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Monaco coach Claudio Ranieri brushed aside speculation surrounding his future ahead of his side’s Coupe de France semi-final.

Several coaches have been linked to the position at the big-spending Ligue 1 side despite Ranieri leading them to almost-certain UEFA Champions League qualification behind Paris Saint-Germain.

The Italian was happy to answer questions regarding his position, preferring that to speculation about the likes of Radamel Falcao and Dimitar Berbatov.

Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone, who has led his side to the top of the La Liga table and the UEFA Champions League semi-finals, was the latest name linked to the Monaco job.

“In Monaco, we prefer to talk about the future of the coach,” Ranieri told a news conference.

“It’s better than talking about Falcao or Berbatov. I remember in August, we evoked the name of (Andre) Villas-Boas, before there was (Roberto) Mancini.

“After there were names of (Massimiliano) Allegri, (Antonio) Conte. Everyone wants to come. It’s good, Diego Simeone today, but I’m here.”

Monaco travel to Guingamp on Wednesday for their Coupe de France semi-final, with a clash against Rennes awaiting the winner.

Ranieri said it was a ‘must win’ as Monaco aim for their first Coupe de France trophy since 1991.

“The further you go, the more ambitious you become,” he said.

“The goal at the beginning of the season was to qualify for the Champions League, being third. Now it is to be second. It is not finished.

“There was the League Cup, we lost. Now there is the semi-final of the Coupe de France and we must win.”

Guingamp coach Jocelyn Gourvennec said there was a ‘big gap’ between the teams, as reflected on the league table.

Gourvennec’s side are battling relegation in Ligue 1 but the coach is still welcoming the challenge of taking on Monaco.

“There is a big gap between the two teams but, at the same time, it’s the Coupe de France and there are surprises in every round,” he said.

“Everyone expects them to win the competition but for us it’s a great challenge. And we will be playing at home with our fantastic support behind us.”

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