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Football | France

Claudio Ranieri © Gallo Images

Ranieri's Nantes 'not ready' for opener

Claudio Ranieri admitted that his Nantes side are "not ready" for the start of the new season, as the Italian prepares to make his Ligue 1 bow on Sunday at Lille.

"We are not ready, but I've never known a team that's been ready for the first day (of a season)," Ranieri said on Friday.

"I am also expecting a few new players (before the end of the transfer window)."

It will be the 65-year-old's first competitive match since being sacked by Leicester City in February, just nine months after leading the Foxes to a staggering Premier League title.

He had to receive special dispensation from the French league to become the Canaries' boss in June because of rules regarding coaches aged over 65.

But Ranieri will return to the bench on Sunday, when he goes up against fellow newcomer Marcelo Bielsa of Lille.

Ranieri has only made two first-team signings in the close season so far and one of those, Romanian international goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu, is out injured.


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