Friday 22 September 2017

Leicester striker 'will not play again' for the club after accusing Claudio Ranieri of betrayal

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Leonardo Ulloa of Leicester City in action with Ashley Williams of Everton during the FA Cup third round tie between Everton and Leicester City at Goodison Park on January 07, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - JANUARY 07: Leonardo Ulloa of Leicester City in action with Ashley Williams of Everton during the FA Cup third round tie between Everton and Leicester City at Goodison Park on January 07, 2017 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Plumb Images/Leicester City FC via Getty Images)

Leonardo Ulloa feels "betrayed" by Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri for apparently refusing to let him leave the King Power Stadium and says he will refuse to play for the club again.

Ulloa has been a peripheral figure at Leicester this season, starting only once in the Premier League, and he handed in a transfer request last week in an effort to force his exit.

Press Association Sport understands the Foxes knocked back a £7million offer from top-flight rivals Sunderland on Monday, which has infuriated the Argentinian.

He wrote on his Twitter account: "With all respect for LCFC FANS. I feel betrayed by Ranieri and let down by the club. I will not play again for them..."

Spanish side Alaves had a £1.7million bid turned down earlier this month while Ulloa has also been the subject of a loan offer from Turkish giants Galatasaray.

The 30-year-old, whom Leicester paid a then club record £8million to sign in July 2014, believes he is being denied the chance to rebuild his career elsewhere by Ranieri.

Ulloa added on Sky Sports News: "The manager's been telling me for the last two weeks that if an offer of around £4million to £5million was arriving to the club, he would help me to leave.

"My understanding at this moment is that these offers are around those figures or even bigger that are not being considered so after what Ranieri has been telling me for weeks, today he tells me that he wants me to stay.

"I can't understand the situation or why they don't let me continue playing my football somewhere else. If I stay at the club it's going to affect seriously my career and my future.

"They know I'm not going to be used. The best thing for both parties is that they sell me to another club and I can continue playing my football somewhere else."

Ulloa scored 11 goals in 37 Premier League appearances in his first season in the east midlands but has been behind Jamie Vardy and Shinzi Okazaki for the last year and a half - although he still found the net six times in Leicester's title-winning 2015/16 season.

Ranieri, speaking earlier on Monday to preview Leicester's clash at Burnley, admitted he understands Ulloa's frustrations but wants him to remain at the club.

He said: "I know he is very, very anxious but we don't change our mind.

"For us it's important. We don't want to sell him. Also I don't want to because I have just (Islam) Slimani as a target man and I need another target man.

"I want Leo here and I hope he can be calm and understand my position. Of course he's not happy and I understand him.

"The club know my idea very well and also Leo knows very well my idea. He is a fantastic player, a fantastic man and I believe in him."

Press Association

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