Ranieri appointed Chelsea coach

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Chelsea today appointed Italian Claudio Ranieri as head coach on a three-year contract.

Chelsea today appointed Italian Claudio Ranieri as head coach on a three-year contract.

The former Napoli, Fiorentina, Valencia and Atletico Madrid coach has been involved in talks at Stamford Bridge since yesterday and was seen taking copious notes at last night's UEFA Cup tie against St Gallen.

He succeeds compatriot Gianluca Vialli, but under the title 'head coach' rather than manager.

Despite speculation since Vialli's controversial sacking two days ago that the Blues would hire a more high-profile replacement, they instead turned to the experienced figure of 48-year-old Ranieri.

Chelsea managing director Colin Hutchinson told ClubCall: "Claudio has been appointed as head coach, which will be slightly different to Luca's role.

"He will only be concentrating on the first-team squad, the coaching and the tactics.

"The administration will be solely handled at the training ground as far as the team is concerned by Gwyn Williams, who is termed assistant manager but in Italy he would be called the manager as that is the administration role.

"It has happened very quickly but it was important to end the speculation."

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