London: Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri has warned his freshly crowned Premier League champions that they would regret leaving the club, in comments published by British newspapers yesterday.
Leicester were presented with the EPL trophy following Saturday's 3-1 home win over Everton, having overcome odds of 5,000-1 to win the first top-flight title in their 132-year history. They now face a challenge to hold onto players such as Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and N'Golo Kante, but with a Champions League campaign on the horizon, Ranieri is confident they will stay put. "I want to enjoy, but I feel it is possible to keep all the players," said the Italian.
"It's important for us, but it's important also for them because they don't know the Champions League. If they go away, it's not good for them. It's better if they improve another year here and then go. But I have said so many times if one player comes to me and says, 'Gaffer, I want to go', then I leave him because it's OK."
Leicester's surge to glory was aided by the fact that they made early exits in both the FA Cup and League Cup, allowing Ranieri to plough all his resources into the EPL. Next season he believes Leicester can ruffle feathers of Europe's elite too.
"At the (Champions League) group draw, teams will want to play us because we are in Europe for the first time. We are underdogs, but underdogs can be dangerous teams, you know."