Former Chelsea boss Guus Hiddink has told told The Sunday Times he turned down an opportunity to manage Leicester City following the dismissal of Claudio Ranieri.
Ranieri was sacked by Leicester in February, just nine months after leading them to the Premier League title, and with the club close to the relegation zone and seemingly unable to arrest their slide.
He was replaced by assistant Craig Shakespeare, who has since turned around the club’s form, winning his first four league games in charge — including Saturday’s 2-0 victory over Stoke City — to become only the fifth manager in Premier League history to achieve the feat.
Hiddink claims Leicester’s decision to appoint Shakespeare was partly down to his advice, having himself rejected the chance to fill the post left by Ranieri.
“To be strictly correct, I didn’t talk directly with Leicester,” Hiddink said. “But you know how the line goes. ‘They think of you…’
“They asked not directly but indirectly, but I said no. ‘If you have decided to sack Ranieri, why don’t you go with your No. 2 guy? Shakespeare knows the club, knows the players. Why don’t you go there, you will see what will happen?’ I said. Happily I was right.
“Liverpool [Shakespeare’s first game in charge] didn’t know what hit them. Within 20 minutes, 2-0 [down]. And five days later Leicester won at Hull. The relegation problem was solved in five days.”
Leicester currently sit 13th in the Premier League table, six points clear of the relegation zone.