Odds-on Ranieri positive on chances of replacing Hodgson at West Brom

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Claudio Ranieri has backed his own chances of replacing Roy Hodgson as the next West Brom manager and he is now just 8/11 to take over at the Hawthorns next season.

Assistant manager Keith Downing believes that the vacancy is primed for a big name and Ranieri has been heavily linked with the position in recent days.

Ranieri himself has even spoken up his chances of returning to the Premier League for the first time since departing Chelsea in 2004 during his punditry in the FA Cup final victory for the Blues over Liverpool.

Asked about whether he would be interested in taking over at West Brom, Ranieri told ESPN: “Why not? Never say never. I will listen to everything. If there is a good project, why not.”

The Italian has been boss at five different clubs since his Chelsea exit, with the latest being a largely failed spell at Inter Milan, from which he left by mutual consent in March.

However, he still retains a healthy respect within the game and a manager of his status would be classified as a major coup for West Brom.

The one obvious stumbling block would be Ranieri’s probable wages, which would be substantially more than the competition also being touted for the job.

Former assistant manager and current Portsmouth boss Michael Appleton is second favourite at present at 7/2 and his knowledge of the club could sway the decision in his favour.

Alternatively, Chris Hughton has done an impressive job at Birmingham this season to lead them to the Championship play-offs and 5/1 could still be good value on him gaining a Premier League return at West Brom.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.