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Thursday 17 August 2017

Claudio Ranieri: 40 points the goal for Leicester chief Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

Leonardo Ulloa handed in a transfer request last week.
Leonardo Ulloa handed in a transfer request last week.

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri admits chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is unhappy with the Foxes' form.

The champions are yet to win away this season and are five points above the Premier League relegation zone.

Their only victories on the road have come in the FA Cup at Everton and Champions League at Club Brugge and they go to Derby in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday.

Ranieri has spoken to Srivaddhanaprabha and revealed the Thai owner wants them to hit the Premier League safety mark above anything else.

"My chairman said 40 points, 40 points please, then after if something happens it's okay - but 40 points," he said.

"Of course he is not happy, it is normal, he is the chairman. But he knows very well my ambition, maybe more than him. For me every match is important."

The league remains the priority for the Foxes, who also go to Sevilla in the last 16 of the Champions League next month, but Ranieri is expected to pick a strong side at Derby with captain Wes Morgan rejecting the offer of a rest having played 46 consecutive games for the Foxes.

"If you think what these guys have done in the last three years it is amazing," Ranieri said. " They won the title in the Championship, they fight a lot to avoid relegation and then won the (Premier League) title. The three years has been very busy in the mind."

Leonardo Ulloa is a doubt with a thigh injury having handed a transfer request in last week with the club rejecting a £1.7million offer from Alaves.

And Ranieri insisted he had no problem with the striker.

Horacio Rossi, one of the people who helps represent Ulloa, was quoted this week saying he was tired of the "lies" from Ranieri and director of football Jon Rudkin with the club having refused to let Ulloa go so far.

Ranieri said: "The agent said I was a liar but I don't want to respond to him.

"With Leo I have a fantastic relationship and I have to support him."

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