Ranieri cheering for Conte to succeed him as EPL champion

January 17, 2017
Chelsea manager Antonio Conte celebrates towards fans after the English Premier League soccer match between Leicester City and Chelsea at the King Power Stadium in Leicester, England, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

FLORENCE, Italy (AP) — Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri is cheering for fellow Italian coach Antonio Conte at Chelsea to succeed him as English Premier League champion.

In Florence on Tuesday to be inducted into the Italian football Hall of Fame, Ranieri says of Conte: “He arrived without fanfare but he’s showing that the Italian school of coaches is still valid. As a former Chelsea coach and as an Italian fan I hope that Conte can realize the goal.”

Conte left Italy’s national team to take over Chelsea this season, and has guided the London club to a seven-point lead.

Ranieri coached unsung Leicester to the Premier League title last season. He says he has no plans to return to Serie A but adds, “Never say never.”