MONACO (Reuters) - Claudio Ranieri is hoping to be back in management somewhere in Europe before the start of next season and is not ruling out a return to the Premier League.
“Why not? If a good project arrives, why not?,” the former Chelsea and Leicester City manager, sacked by the latter club in February, told Reuters on Tuesday when asked whether he might return to England.
“I look for the Premier League or another league in Europe,” he added.
The much-travelled Italian was back in the dugout on Tuesday, if only for an evening, as coach of a ‘World Stars’ charity match in Monaco.
The 65-year-old, who pulled off one of the all-time upsets in taking Leicester City to the title last year, refused to be drawn on who he might be talking to.
“If I have had some discussions, I don’t tell you,” he laughed.
Dapper in blue blazer and jeans, the 65-year-old watched as a team mainly composed of Formula One drivers took on sporting celebrities including former Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur defender William Gallas.
Captained by Williams driver Felipe Massa, the F1 team included Red Bull’s Australian Daniel Ricciardo, Russian Daniil Kvyat, Spaniard Carlos Sainz, retired double champion Mika Hakkinen and Michael Schumacher’s son Mick.
Monaco’s Prince Albert II played a cameo role in a match that has become a fixture of grand prix week and is held at the home of the new Ligue 1 champions to raise money for a children’s charity.
Ranieri, a former Monaco coach delighted with the club’s success, has been part of it for the last four years.
The Italian, who will be back in London at the weekend for the FA Cup final between Chelsea and Arsenal, told reporters he still had ambitions at club level.
“I am very stimulated to make another great season,” he said.
“Watford is only rumours,” he added, when asked specifically about that Premier League vacancy after the departure of Italian Walter Mazzarri. “I feel as well a European coach -- Italy, Spain, France, England for me is okay.”
Middlesbrough and Sunderland have also both parted company with their managers but both clubs were relegated to the Championship this season.
“In Italy we are used to this,” Ranieri said of the spate of firings and departures.
“For me is important the project. And I look at the right project.”
Editing by Greg Stutchbury