Thursday 22 February 2018

Claudio Ranieri places high price on striker Jamie Vardy

Leicester's Jamie Vardy has scored seven goals for the Foxes this season.
Leicester's Jamie Vardy has scored seven goals for the Foxes this season.

Claudio Ranieri has refused to rule out selling Jamie Vardy but insisted it would take megabucks to tempt Leicester.

The Foxes boss also admitted he would be powerless to stop any player leaving the King Power Stadium if they wanted to quit.

Vardy is the Barclays Premier League's seven-goal top scorer and started England's final Euro 2016 qualifier, a 3-0 win in Lithuania, on Monday.

He cost Leicester £1million from Fleetwood in 2012 but is now hot property after his dramatic rise from non league to the top flight.

Ranieri insisted the 28-year-old is happy at the club but conceded they may not turn down a huge offer.

"If I am the owner, a lot, a lot, a lot," he said, when asked how much Vardy would cost. "Do you want Jamie? Give me a lot of money.

"We want to keep him and we want to keep hold of all our best players but if there are some teams who want to spend money 'Ok', we'll re-start and we'll see another good player. At this moment we'll enjoy with Jamie.

"Our project is very, very good. I understand players want to achieve something early.

"I think for Jamie, not only for Jamie but all of the players, it's important to do what they feel, what their heart, soul and brain says.

"I can say 'you stay here' or 'you go' - no. I want only happy players, that is my philosophy. I don't want to keep somebody who doesn't want to stay. Jamie is so happy."

Vardy is contracted to the club until 2018 after signing a four-year deal last year and has scored five goals in his last four Foxes games.

Leicester go to Southampton on Saturday with in-form Vardy expected to lead the line and Nathan Dyer (knee) fit again but Ranieri admitted Vardy's form cannot continue forever.

He said: "At this moment he is scoring goals and for him it's a great moment. It's not possible for him to continue it for 10 months, it's not possible. I hope (he can) but for now he continues and when we arrive at that moment we'll keep calm and continue to fight."

Press Association

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