Ranieri won the Premier League title with Leicester City in 2015/16
Watford is in advanced talks with Italian Claudio Ranieri about becoming their new manager.
The 69-year-old would succeed Xisco Munoz, who rose with the Hornets last season, but released on Sunday after only 10 months on the job.
Under Xisco Watford had taken seven points from seven Premier League games this season and was 14th in the table.
Watford’s owners, the Pozzo family, are making their 14th leadership change since taking over in 2012.
Ranieri, who would return to the English premier league which he won with Leicester City in 2015-16, Sampdoria left Serie A in the summer.
He has a wealth of experience and Watford could be the 21st club he led in his 35-year career as a manager. During that time he has won eight trophies, including the 1998-99 Italian Cup and 2004-05 Super Cup with Valencia and the Premier League title with the Foxes.
Ranieri was also in charge at Chelsea and Fulham.
He is highly regarded at Leicester but was sacked in 2017 after the club was just one point above the relegation zone with 13 games remaining after a string of poor results in the 2016-17 season.
After Leicester, he took a season out of the Premier League at Nantes before returning to take over Fulham in 2018. He lasted just 106 days before Fulham sacked him while the club was relegated from the Premier League.
Spaniard Xisco, who was sacked after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Leeds, is the first Premier League manager to lose his job this season.
Watford’s next Premier League game will be played at home against Liverpool on Saturday 16 October.