Monday 18 December 2017

Ranieri eyes long-term Foxes stay

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri faces Sunderland in his first match in charge on Saturday
Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri faces Sunderland in his first match in charge on Saturday

Claudio Ranieri has revealed he wants to end his career at Leicester.

The former Chelsea boss takes charge of the Foxes for the first time when they host Sunderland on Saturday.

He was the surprise choice to replace the axed Nigel Pearson in July, signing a three-year contract to make Leicester his eighth club in 11 years since leaving Chelsea.

But the 63-year-old is keen to put down roots at the King Power Stadium after arriving at the Barclays Premier League side.

"I'd like to stay here for a long time. I'd like to finish my career at Leicester if I can," he said.

"I've always laid foundations wherever I've been. I want to say the same here. I'm very happy here.

"The chairman told me the first three or four years it is important to maintain at this level in the Premier League. Then, slowly slowly, step by step, increase and fight with the bigger clubs.

"But now it is important to maintain and get one point more than last year."

Ranieri has also relocated to the East Midlands while keeping a house in London as he settles in Leicester.

He said: "For me, it's important to continue my career.

"I prefer to live near the club, I have to work hard. Players go home after training, I have to try and control and improve things.

"At the moment I know only the hotel, training ground and stadium.

"I've eaten in the city centre, it's not bad. I've had Indian and English meals as well as Italian - I change with my meals. I like to tinker with my food as well."

Ranieri's two signings - N'Golo Kante and Yohan Benalouane - may not be available to face the Black Cats at the weekend, with the manager still assessing their fitness after they joined this week.

He said: "I love English football because it has my character, I am a fighter. I want to fight for every match. In England everybody wants to fight against everybody."

Press Association

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