Sport Soccer

Sunday 25 February 2018

Claudio Ranieri will not block Craig Shakespeare England involvement

Craig Shakespeare is being considered for a role with England
Craig Shakespeare is being considered for a role with England

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri will not stand in Craig Shakespeare's way with his assistant in talks over an England role.

The 52-year-old has been approached by new Three Lions manager Sam Allardyce to work with him following his appointment last month.

Paul Clement turned down the chance to assist Allardyce with the national team with his club, Bayern Munich, reportedly unhappy over a job share.

The Premier League champions would have no fears over a share should Shakespeare accept the job in Allardyce's backroom staff and believe it could be beneficial to their title defence this season.

Ranieri said: "Yes, I will be very happy (if he is part of the England set-up). I watched Craig in the training sessions, he is very focused on the job, if there is some news I will speak to you. I will speak when something happens."

Shakespeare only signed a new deal three months ago and Ranieri has already lost his other assistant Steve Walsh, who joined Everton as their director of football in July.

The Foxes are preparing for the Community Shield against FA Cup winners Manchester United at Wembley on Sunday ahead of the start of their title defence at Hull next Saturday.

Ahmed Musa, Papy Mendy and Luis Hernandez could all make their debuts after signing in the summer and Ranieri dismissed any suggestions the Wembley showpiece is a friendly as he prepares for his managerial debut at the stadium.

He said: "Why do you ask this question, a friendly? When is the Community Shield a friendly? Of course we will be at the maximum and Manchester United will be at their maximum. The two teams want to win. I am very excited.

"When I was in the final of the FA Cup (with Chelsea against Arsenal in 2002) Wembley was being rebuilt and we played in Cardiff. But I was there for the first match at the new Wembley."

The game is Jose Mourinho's first United match in England since being appointed boss at Old Trafford in May. Mourinho was sacked at Chelsea following a 2-1 defeat at Leicester in December.

Ranieri added: "We are used to living with the pressure and without pressure we are not the same. Jose always tries to win and his career speaks for itself."

Jamie Vardy has recovered from an arm operation, stemming from when his fractured his wrist last September, but is still likely to wear a protective cast.

Press Association

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