Monaco and Claudio Ranieri to part company despite second placed finish in…

Monaco have today confirmed they will part company with manager Claudio Ranieri.

The ex-Chelsea boss guided the principality club to second place in Ligue 1, ensuring Champions League qualification in their first year back in the top flight.

However, vice-president Vadim Vasilyev announced Ranieri would be leaving the club as they looked for a new identity.

He told a news conference: ”I can confirm that Claudio Ranieri is leaving soon. We decided to break up. I would like to pay tribute to Claudio, who did a good job.

”It is never easy to take a club from Ligue 2 to the Champions League. But we believe that at this stage we need a new dynamic.”

The Italian’s departure could have a bearing on possible moves for Ashley Cole and Patrice Evra.

The former revealed he would be leaving Chelsea last night, ending his trophy-laden stint at Stamford Bridge.

Monaco are now the firm favourites to land Cole and could blow other potential suitors out of the water with a big-money offer.

And they have also been linked with a bid to re-sign Evra, who spent four years at the club before moving to Manchester United in 2004.

Like Cole, the Frenchman is out of contract this summer but will wait to speak to new boss Louis van Gaal before deciding his next move.

Everton’s transfer plans have also been dented by Ranieri’s sacking, as they look to loan Lacina Traore for a second season.

Sporting Lisbon coach Leonardo Jardim is the favourite to take over the Ligue 1 club.