A mere 298 days on from lifting the Premier League title, Claudio Ranieri was unceremoniously booted by Leicester City on Thursday evening. The 65-year-old, who was given a dreaded vote of confidence from the Foxes' board just two weeks ago, walks away from the club less than a year on from perhaps the single greatest success the English game has seen.

The romanticism of last season at the King Power Stadium has now been replaced by the reality of a relegation fight this term, with the club just a point above the drop zone. In a Leicester statement last night, the board insisted the club's perilous position left them with no choice.

So who is the man for the job? IBTimes UK considers the early candidates.

Roberto Mancini (11/8)

Mancini has been installed as the early favourite for the role at Leicester. The 52-year-old led Manchester City to their first Premier League title during the 2011-12 season and is currently a free agent having left Internazionale after a second spell at the club at the end of last season.

The former Italy international has the added caveat of being a former Fox himself, having made four appearances for the club during a brief loan spell at in 2001.

Nigel Pearson (8/1)

Surely not? The 53-year-old kept the Foxes alive in the unlikeliest of circumstances following their return to the top flight in 2014, winning seven of their last nine games to stay afloat. Pearson left after his relationship with the Leicester board imploded. It's difficult to see how that relationship can be repaired, but according to The Times, some of Leicester City's players want him back. Player power fuelled Ranieri's sacking, so why can't it drive the decision to find his replacement?

Nigel Pearson
Pearson reportedly the favoured option among sections of the Leicester dressing room. Getty

Alan Pardew (11/1)

The former West Ham United, Charlton Athletic, Southampton, Newcastle United and Crystal Palace manager has been out of work since leaving Selhurst Park just before Christmas. The 55-year-old has had his share of scraps in the bottom half of the Premier League table, but after leaving Palace is such a disarray, can he still attract Premier League jobs?

Harry Redknapp (16/1)

Within moments of Ranieri getting the sack last night, BT Sport were relentlessly pushing the 'Harry getting the phone call" shtick. During his punditry gig during Tottenham's Europa League elimination to Gent, the former Portsmouth and Tottenham boss was asked if he would take the role if offered. "If course you would, what an opportunity. It's a great job."

Martin O'Neill (22/1)

Before Ranieri broke the mould, O'Neill would have been regarded as one of Leicester's most successful coaches. The Northern Irish manager guided the Foxes into the Premier League via the playoffs in 1996 and won two League Cups with the club before Celtic came calling in 2000. O'Neill is currently in a very comfortable position with Republic of Ireland, however, with the Boys in Green currently sitting two points clear at the top of their 2018 World Cup qualifying group.

Reaction to Ranieri's sacking

Ranieri's dismissal has been met with widespread disdain overnight. According to statistics collected by Forza Football, 71% of Leicester fans backed the manager before Thursday's sacking, with just 29% of the 3,400 fans who voted claiming they had lost faith in the Italian.

Former Foxes striker and Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker condemned the decision, tweeting: "After all that Claudio Ranieri has done for Leicester City, to sack him now is inexplicable, unforgivable and gut-wrenchingly sad."