Fulham have sacked Slavisa Jokanovic and appointed Claudio Ranieri as manager in an attempt to rescue their season.
Jokanovic led the London club to promotion in May but has struggled to adapt them to life in the top flight despite a £100million recruitment drive in the summer.
They are bottom of the league with five points from 12 games and chairman Shahid Khan has turned to Ranieri who led Leicester to their remarkable title win in 2016.
Jokanovic was informed he would be sacked in a phone call with Khan at 8am on Wednesday morning.
The call came after Fulham had sounded out a number of potential candidates before agreeing terms with the charismatic Italian, the man who had signed Jokanovic as a player for Chelsea.
Though not angry, Jokanovic was understood to be a little perplexed at the timing of his departure. Ranieri is a man he respects while Fulham’s owners had underlined their support to him at the start of the week.
Confident in his ability to improve the side, Jokanovic has never been deluded about a football manager’s lot. He accepted (with dignity) that recent results had prompted Fulham’s actions and will look forward to his next challenge.
Ranieri, meanwhile, said: ‘It is an honour to accept Mr Khan’s invitation and opportunity to lead Fulham, a fantastic club with tradition and history.
‘The objective at Fulham should never be to merely survive in the Premier League. We must at all times be a difficult opponent and should expect to succeed. This Fulham squad has exceptional talent that is contrary to its position in the table.
know this team is very capable of better performances, which we will work on straight away as we prepare for Southampton at the Cottage.’
Ranieri left Nantes in May after one season at the French club he joined after he was sacked by Leicester.
On his return to management on Wednesday, ex-England and Leicester striker Gary Lineker joked, ‘Claudio Ranieri? Really?’ in reference to his reaction to the Italian’s appointment at the King Power.
One football fan joked: ‘What price are Fulham to win the league,’ while another lamented the sacking of Jokanovic, claiming: ‘No one expected Fulham to get promoted to the EPL. Jokanovic over achieved & was a victim of his own success.
‘No one expected Leicester to win the EPL. Ranieri over achieved & was a victim of his own success. Football forgets too quickly.’
FULHAM’S RESULTS AND FIXTURES
LAST FIVE RESULTS
Liverpool 2-0 Fulham
Huddersfield 1-0 Fulham
Man City 2-0 Fulham
Fulham 0-3 Bournemouth
Cardiff 4-2 Fulham
NEXT FIVE FIXTURES
Fulham vs Southampton
Chelsea vs Fulham
Fulham vs Leicester
Man United vs Fulham
Fulham vs West Ham
Ranieri was sacked by Leicester just months after leading them to the Premier League title.