Date: 16th February 2006 at 11:47am
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Not so long ago I can remember when Toon fans would have jumped for joy to replace Graeme Souness with former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri. He was the name on the lips of many fans after he was given the boot by the Blues when Jose Mourinho took over. And today the Italian has confirmed he is interested in the vacant manager’s job at St James’ Park.

He was sacked by Valencia last season and is eager to find a new job in England.

Ranieri: ‘I’ve worked in Italy, in Spain and in England, but at the top I put England. I love England because of the atmosphere and the fans. If possible, I would like to return to work in England.

‘I am looking for another good job with a club who has ambition. Newcastle is a good team, an ambitious team. It is one of the best clubs in England.’

But Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd has bigger fish in his pond, although I’m sure he will keep it in mind should others say ‘no’.