Fabio Capello believes Claudio Ranieri would be a perfect fit for Celtic – and vice versa.
With Steve Clarke set to be unveiled as new Scotland boss, the identity of the man who will lead the Hoops next season is now the burning question in Scottish football.
While caretaker Neil Lennon will be in charge for the visit of Hearts in this afternoon’s final round of Premiership fixtures, and the Scottish Cup Final against the same opposition on Saturday, he is expected to be passed over for a permanent role.
It’s believed the Parkhead powerbrokers are looking for a bigger name.
Ranieri fits that bill.
Three years ago, he masterminded the miracle of Leicester City’s English Premier League triumph.
The 67-year-old Italian will be available as he is due to quit his current post with Roma after their final Serie A fixture against Parma next Sunday.
They currently sit sixth in the table, and are on course for a Europa League place.
And Capello, who managed the England national team and is a predecessor of Ranieri at Roma, is intrigued at the thought of his fellow countryman being tempted back to the UK with Celtic.
“Claudio Ranieri is an excellent person and a great man,” said Capello.
“For me, he’s one of the very best coaches around, as he has shown managing really top-level sides in Italy, France, England and Spain.
“Claudio is at the top level of his profession, and after what he did at Leicester, he can do anything – even in Scotland.
“For him, it would be another excellent challenge, and considering the quality of Celtic, he could also perhaps win another title to add to his collection.
“It would be a good opportunity for him in a competition that’s quite different to England and Europe’s other big leagues.”
Equally upbeat about the possibility is former Celtic and AC Milan midfielder Massimo Donati.
“Celtic had a great coach in Brendan Rodgers, a man who is technically so good,” he said.
“Now it is obvious that the board are looking around for someone for next season who will be at the same very high level.
“I have heard Claudio Ranieri is one of the coaches they are looking at, and I can see why. He is a football man, is very experienced and has succeeded in several countries.
“He would have no problem adapting to Scottish football, which is more physical and less technical than the Italian and English games.
“Certainly, he should find different challenges in Glasgow than he has in his other jobs.
“But for a man like him, with his past, I am sure it would not be a problem.
“The Celtic job is a prestigious one, and it should be entrusted to a person like him – a big name and a man who has great charisma and is very competent.
“He would have to adapt, not only to the type of football, but also to the Scottish top flight.
“I will be very curious to follow his progress there.”
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