Friday 15 November 2019

Ranieri keen to strengthen midfield

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri is eyeing up at least one more signing
Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri is eyeing up at least one more signing

Claudio Ranieri is targeting only one more signing before the transfer window closes - with a midfielder the missing piece in the jigsaw for the Leicester manager.

The Foxes have brought in five players so far this summer in the shape of Robert Huth, Shinji Okazaki , Christian Fuchs, N'Golo Kante and Yohan Benalouane, with the latter two arriving since Ranieri's appointment a month ago.

The Italian's third new addition is likely to be a replacement for Esteban Cambiasso , who played a crucial role in keeping the Midlands club in the Barclays Premier League last season.

The 34-year-old was out of contract this summer and decided against extending his stay at the King Power Stadium, since signing for Greek champions Olympiacos.

Leicester have been linked with several midfielders, the latest of which is Napoli's Switzerland international Gokhan Inler, although Ranieri is not keen on the idea of flooding the Foxes team with foreign imports.

Asked about his transfer plans, Ranieri said: "One more. A midfielder. I think one is enough. Of course, if two arrive then I'm happy!

"Now I work in England I want an English player, because I think it is important to understand the mentality of the nation. In England I want an English player. In Spain I want more Spanish players. In Italy I want Italian players.

"This is my philosophy. The player who comes must understand the English philosophy - you must play hard until the end of the match.

"That is important. If you change too much from this then the philosophy could change too much, which is not good.

"First we choose the English player then we make comparisons with other players and choose which is best for us. But sometimes clubs go abroad because the English player costs too much."

It has been reported that Leicester and Napoli have agreed a fee for Inler but the player has yet to be convinced by the move.

"I want to speak about the finish when there is something concrete," said Ranieri when asked about the 31-year-old.

"The club are speaking to a lot of players. I want to wait and look what happens."

David Nugent completed his move to Sky Bet Championship club Middlesbrough on Friday, but Ranieri has no plans to bring in a replacement striker.

He said: "No because in this moment I have four strikers and the combinations are good. (Leonardo) Ulloa, (Andrej) Kramaric, (Jamie) Vardy and Okazaki - it's enough.

"I have too many players. I know there are players who want to go to play, everybody wants to play."

Leicester travel to West Ham on Saturday looking to build on their winning start to the season, after beginning the campaign with a 4-2 home victory over Sunderland.

If the Foxes were impressive last weekend, then the Hammers were even more so in winning 2-0 against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Ranieri said: " They had a very good result, better than us. Who could believe Arsenal would lose the match? I watched the match and West Ham were outstanding.

"(West Ham manager) Slaven Bilic has really good experience of the national team, he knows West Ham well.

"I think it will be an open game, they can win, we can win and even a draw is alright."

Leicester make the trip with only midfielder Matty James set to miss the game due to his knee problem.

PA Media

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