Friday 20 October 2017

Shakespeare in pole position but Hodgson on Foxes' wanted list

Craig Shakespeare saw his Leicester team defeat Liverpool. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire
Craig Shakespeare saw his Leicester team defeat Liverpool. Photo: Nick Potts/PA Wire

John Percy

Roy Hodgson has emerged as a contender to succeed Claudio Ranieri as Leicester City manager, although Craig Shakespeare remains in pole position.

Hodgson, the former England head coach, is understood to have been tentatively approached shortly after the shock departure of Ranieri, a dismissal that has polarised opinion across football.

The 69-year-old has been out of work since leaving the England team following a disastrous experience at Euro 2016, but is seen as a strong candidate to replace Ranieri at the King Power Stadium.

Shakespeare is the favourite for the post, his chances boosted by the 3-1 win over Liverpool on Monday night, and it is thought that a victory over Hull City on Saturday may be enough to confirm him as manager for the rest of the season.

But the approach to Hodgson, which is believed to have been made on Friday, proves that Leicester are assessing other options in the event of Shakespeare's interim appointment going awry.

Hodgson is keen to return to the game and has vast experience of relegation battles in the Premier League after avoiding the drop at Fulham and West Brom. His profile will also appeal to Leicester's Thai owners, the Srivaddhanaprabha family, who will be assisted in the managerial process by Jon Rudkin, the director of football, chief executive Susan Whelan and head of football operations Andrew Neville.

Guus Hiddink, the former Chelsea manager, and Alan Pardew are also believed to have held initial talks with representatives from Leicester, but Hodgson is the most intriguing name to emerge following Ranieri's exit.

Hodgson resigned shortly after the humiliating 2-1 defeat by Iceland at Euro 2016, ending his spell with England after four years. But late last year he admitted he would welcome a return to football and has told friends he wants one more job before retirement.

He said: "I certainly don't feel that I couldn't handle the day-to-day work and the day-to-day pressures. I just have to wait and see what comes along.

"I've never had a long spell out of the game, it's always been a month or two and then back in again, and sometimes not even that.

"So these four or five months won't do me any harm. But I'm hoping that something will come along that will really interest me and the people who are inviting me perhaps to join them are aware of what they're getting, and they're getting what they want."

Hodgson is in Leicester's thoughts, possibly even as a long-term appointment in the summer, but it is unclear at this stage whether he would make his return to the game in the east Midlands.

Though Leicester have their Champions League round-of-16 second leg against Sevilla on March 14, the defending champions have only 12 league games left while the transfer window is closed.

A win over Hull on Saturday could end Leicester's search, however, and Shakespeare's hopes of landing the job, initially on a short-term basis, have certainly been enhanced in the past 48 hours. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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