Fulham appoint former title winner after sacking Jokanovic

Fulham have appointed Claudio Ranieri as their new manager after sacking Slavisa Jokanovic.

Jokanovic has paid the price for a dismal run of form that has seen Fulham drop to bottom of the Premier League.

And they have moved quickly to bring Ranieri back to the Premier League, with the Italian famously guiding Leicester to the title in 2016.

Ranieri 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. I know this team is very capable of better performances, which we will work on straight away as we prepare for Southampton at the Cottage.”

Jokanovic guided Fulham to promotion via the play-offs last term but this season has not started well.

Fulham have won just one of their first 12 games, conceding 31 goals in the process.

They have lost their last seven matches, the last four without scoring a goal.

Ranieri meanwhile was in charge of Nantes last season after being sacked by Leicester just months after winning the title.

He was pictured at the King Power last weekend as he paid tribute to late Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

Fulham owner Shahid Khan said: "I wasn’t anticipating having to make this announcement related to Slavsa and wish the circumstances were such that I didn’t have to, but our path this season has led me to make what I know is the correct decision, at the right time, for our players, the club and our supporters.

"Slavisa will always have my appreciation and respect for everything he did to return Fulham to top-flight football. I am hoping everyone in the Fulham Family shares my heartfelt sentiments for Slavisa and joins me in wishing him success and good fortune, wherever his next stop may be.

“Making a change without having the right answer or succession plan was not an option, so having someone of Claudio’s calibre ready to accept our challenge was comforting but, most of all, essential.

“Claudio is risk-free and ready-made for the Premier League, and particularly so for what we need at this moment at Fulham."

Tom Greatrex, chair of Fulham Supporters’ Trust, said: "He inherited a directionless squad and club seemingly in disarray with a restless fanbase.

"That he was able to produce one of the most admired footballing teams of recent years in the Championship, playing with style and panache to secure promotion at a memorable day at Wembley a few months ago, will always stand as his acheivement.

"That he did so with the backdrop of well publicised disruptive behavour in the background and a quiet and determined dignity despite provocation makes that achievement all the more remarkable.

"We would like to wish Slav well for the future, and he will always go down as one of the great Fulham managers."

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