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Monday 5 December 2016

Claudio Ranieri confident he can tempt Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez to stay

Published 26/11/2015 | 15:46

Leicester's Jamie Vardy is the Barclays Premier League's 13-goal top scorer.
Leicester's Jamie Vardy is the Barclays Premier League's 13-goal top scorer.

Claudio Ranieri has told Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez they can become champions at Leicester if they stay with the Foxes.

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The boss has outlined his vision with the club the shock leaders of the Barclays Premier League ahead of Saturday's top-of-the-table clash with Manchester United.

Vardy will break the league's consecutive scoring record if he nets in an 11th straight game against United after equalling Ruud van Nistelrooy's achievement with the opener in last week's 3-0 win at Newcastle - which took City top.

Both Vardy and Mahrez have been linked with moves from the King Power Stadium after excelling this season but Ranieri believes his plan for the Foxes can convince the pair to stay.

He said: "I think we are building a very good construction. I understand if somebody wants to go but I believe in the next year Leicester, slowly, slowly, can grow up and battle with the top.

"At moment we're very happy and also Jamie is happy with us and he can continue to show his strength with us. Jamie, Riyad, everyone.

"This is our project. I spoke to the owners not now, in July (about it). People believe in me - I believe in me too."

Vardy is the league's 13-goal top scorer - after netting just five times last season - and Ranieri praised his character with the former Fleetwood striker on the brink of history.

He said: "Jamie is now a champion. He has to take confidence in this. For me he is a champion if he thinks more about the team and not himself. Maybe I would like the other players to think about Jamie, that is what I would like to see on Saturday.

"In football all strikers have good moments and bad moments. Now everything is okay but it's important to see Jamie when everything is wrong. He's a strong character because comes from non-league.

"The record is for everybody, Jamie is the tip of the iceberg."

Ranieri is likely to pick an unchanged line-up with just Matty James unavailable, although the midfielder has returned to light training following a long-term knee injury.

Meanwhile, Leicester have confirmed their security measures for the visit of United following the terror attacks in France.

There will be a strict no readmission policy, no storage available within the stadium for baggage, fans must have photo ID to collect tickets and no cans or bottles will be admitted into the ground. The club have also asked supporters to arrive early for the 5.30pm kick-off.

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