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Soccer-Coach Ranieri to leave Monaco after two seasons

Reuters

* Contract was due to expire in 2015

* Details to be sorted with replacement

* Monaco finished second in Ligue 1 (Adds details, quotes)

PARIS, May 20 (Reuters) - Claudio Ranieri is leaving Monaco after two years as coach despite claiming a Champions League spot, the French Ligue 1 club's vice-president Vadim Vasilyev said on Tuesday.

Italian Ranieri, who was appointed in 2012 when Monaco were in Ligue 2, steered the principality club to second place in Ligue 1 this season.

"I confirm that Claudio Ranieri is leaving soon. We decided to break up. I would like to pay tribute to Claudio Ranieri, who did a good job," Vasilyev told a news conference.

"It is never easy to take a club from Ligue 2 to the Champions League. But we believe that at this stage we need a new dynamic."

Vasilyev added he could not confirm the identity of the next coach as there were "some details to be sorted".

Sporting Lisbon coach Leonardo Jardim has been widely tipped to replace Ranieri, whose contract was due to end in 2015.

"We are looking for a coach who has an attacking mindset," said Vasilyev.

In a review of Monaco's season, Vasilyev said the only stain on Ranieri's record was elimination in the third round of the French Cup.

The 62-year-old Ranieri previously managed Fiorentina, Valencia, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Parma, Juventus, AS Roma and Inter Milan.

Monaco, who under Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev spashed out over 100 million euros on tranfers last year, finished the season on 80 points, nine adrift of champions Paris St Germain.

Vasilyev said the club would hold talks with Eric Abidal over a possible contract extension after the former Barcelona player joined Monaco last year on a one-season deal with an option for an additional year.

"He is a great player and a great man, we will discuss next week," he said.

Abidal has been left out of the French World Cup squad after a mediocre season.

Vasilyev declined, however, to elaborate on Radamel Falcao's injury, saying Monaco would pass on their medical opinion to the Colombian FA which would take a decision on the striker's participation in the World Cup finals. (Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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