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  1. ITV Report

Claudio Ranieri confident Leicester City stars will stay at club next season

Claudio Ranieri might need to convince a few of his players to stick around. Photo: PA

Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri is confident of keeping his star names at the King Power Stadium next season.

Key players like Riyad Mahrez and N'Golo Kante have been linked with moves in the summer, but Italian Ranieri believes they will stay to play in the Champions League next season.

Ranieri doesn't want to recruit big names in the summer, as it may change the atmosphere of the squad.

"I’m very confident [we’ll keep our players]. I suggest to my players to stay for one year more," Ranieri eplained.

"I don’t want big names here. My lads are special. We have to bring some good players but who arrives must have the same spirit.”

Ranieri was given a round of applause by journalists, who had all been served champagne, as he entered the room, an acknowledgement of his achievements.

Leicester players and staff celebrated winning the title after Spurs drew at Chelsea on Monday night.

The Italian recognises the personal significance and wider impact of the Leicester Premier League triumph.

“Never could I have imagined this. We work so hard. Everyone does, but only one can win. This year it happened to me!

“It’s my karma. I’ve fought so hard to achieve so this is special. I want to thank my players, chairman, staff and fans.

"My fairytale began in Cagliari. From non-league and now to win the Premier League's special. More special in Leicester.”

Riyad Mahrez has been linked with Barcelona. Credit: PA

Ranieri took time to praise the club's hierarchy and fans for the input which has aided his team's title charge.

“Our Chairman gives to us calmness and positivity. Never have I seen him nervous. That is important to me.

“They were dreaming. I say dilly ding dilly dong! They wake up and the dream is a reality."

At the start of the season Leicester were one of the favourites to go down and were priced at 5000/1 to win the Premier League trophy.

“I don’t believe the bookmakers anymore. This season they’ve made big mistakes!”

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