London (AFP) – Guus Hiddink says he turned down the opportunity to manage champions Leicester City following the dismissal of Claudio Ranieri and instead recommended Craig Shakespeare.
The experienced former Chelsea and Netherlands coach was in the frame to replace Ranieri after the Italian was sacked just nine months after leading Leicester to a shock Premier League title.
But the Dutchman, 70, told The Sunday Times: “To be strictly correct, I didn’t talk directly with Leicester. 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 number two guy?”
Shakespeare was Ranieri’s assistant and his permanent promotion last month to the top job has been a startling success, boasting a 100 percent record and hauling Leicester away from the relegation zone.
“Shakespeare knows the club, knows the players,” Hiddink added.
“Why don’t you go there, you will see what will happen, I said. Happily I was right.”
Shakespeare moved within touching distance of achieving his main goal of top-flight survival as the champions beat Stoke City 2-0 on Saturday.