May 09, 2016

    If Foxes are smart, they'll stay: Ranieri


    LEICESTER City manager Claudio Ranieri has urged his players to stick around for next season after helping the club to a remarkable English Premier League triumph.

    The likes of Riyad Mahrez and N'Golo Kante have become household names over the last season as Leicester defied odds of 5,000-1 to become English champions for the first time.

    Their elevated profile has already led to speculation that they could be snapped up by football's more traditional powers over the close season but Ranieri urged them to stay on for Leicester's maiden Champions League campaign.

    "If they are intelligent, they stay with us another year," he told the BBC after Leicester celebrated their triumph with a 3-1 victory over Everton on Saturday.

    "They know the Champions League is very difficult.

    "Then, after this next experience, they can go."

    Captain Wes Morgan said it had been "unbelievable" to raise the Premier League trophy in front of the ecstatic Leicester fans at King Power Stadium.

    "I had to hold back the tears, I held them back and lifted it up - it was the best feeling in the world," he added.

    Ranieri accepted that next season would be a challenge for a club who were involved in a battle against relegation 12 months ago. But he urged the fans to continue to believe in him and his players.

    "We know very well next season everything will be different," the Italian said.

    "But the fans are dreaming - keep dreaming. Why wake up?"