MILAN Coach Claudio Ranieri quit as coach of Serie A team Parma on Thursday, sparking fresh media reports he was set to take over at Manchester City.
"Claudio Ranieri has informed the club of his intention to leave," Parma said on their official Web site (www.fcparma.com/it).
"The club has expressed its thanks for his precious work, culminating in Parma staying in Serie A, and wish him the best success in the future."
Reports in England have linked the former Chelsea coach with a return to the Premier League with City, who dismissed Stuart Pearce at the end of the season.
"The Manchester City challenge reminds me of the experience at Chelsea where, without spending one pound, we built a good team," Ranieri was quoted as saying in the Sun newspaper.
"It was an achievement that convinced Roman Abramovich to buy the club. I created the Chelsea miracle from nothing."
Ranieri was sacked by the London club at the end of the 2003-04 season and replaced by Jose Mourinho, who won the league in his first two years in charge.
Parma were keen to keep the Italian but said they aware of his fascination with English football and knew he was tempted to return if any jobs became available.
The much-travelled manager joined Parma in February as they struggled to avoid relegation.
He oversaw an improvement in results and the 1999 UEFA Cup winners made sure of survival on Sunday, the last day of the season, when they beat Empoli 3-1.
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