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 By Ben Gladwell

Ranieri excited by Nantes challenge despite 'bizarre' Domenech opposition

Claudio Ranieri says Raymond Domenech has "always been a bizarre guy" as he prepares to take charge of Ligue 1 club Nantes, despite the former France manager's disapproval.

Ranieri told Mediaset television that his appointment is "not yet official," but added that negotiations "are at an advanced stage" ahead of a return to the game after being sacked by Leicester City in February.

The Italian originally seemed set to miss out due to Domenech's insistence on the application of a French Football League rule preventing coaches from working beyond the age of 65.

"I do my job with passion, seriousness and professionalism and I'm not interested in what other people say," Ranieri said. "Then, considering it is Domenech, you can take what he says with a pinch of salt -- he's always been a bizarre guy."

Claudio Ranieri could not locate the magic that fueled Leicester City's title-winning run.
Claudio Ranieri has managed Monaco, Inter, Roma, Juventus, Valencia, Chelsea and Atletico Madrid.

Ranieri, who previously earned promotion to Ligue 1 as Monaco manager before leading them to second place in their first season back in the top flight, is excited by the challenge Nantes would present.

"I'm convinced by their project," he added. "They have a very strong academy, which has produced players like [Marcel] Desailly and [Didier] Deschamps, and there are a lot of quality young players, and the president is extremely enthusiastic.

"I was also struck by how the team were bottom halfway through the season and then, thanks to the work of [Sergio] Conceicao, they finished seventh, which means that there must be the possibility to work well there."

Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.

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