Claudio Ranieri Photo: JULIO MUNOZ/EPA

Nantes closed in on former Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri on Monday after agreeing a two-year contract, but are awaiting French Professional League approval because of his age, a club source said.

The LFP does not allow coaches aged over 65 to join French clubs. Ranieri is 65 and the Ligue 1 outfit have requested a waiver from the LFP and are waiting for a response before finalising the deal.

Lens went to the European Commission to push through the recruitment of Guy Roux in 2007, but Nantes do not intend to go that far and will comply with the LFP's decision.

Ranieri was sacked by Leicester in February, just nine months after leading the English side to a stunning Premier League triumph.

It was the first league title of the Italian's career, although he has won major cup trophies in both Spain and his home country.

The news from France brings an end to speculation that Ranieri would stay in England, after he was heavily linked with both the vacant jobs at Crystal Palace and Leeds United.

Former Nantes boss Sergio Conceicao left for Porto a week ago, after dragging the Canaries out of a relegation fight to a seventh-placed finish.

The southern Brittany side won the last of their eight league titles in 2001.

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