Claudio Ranieri not optimistic as Leicester aim to defend title

 
Ranieri

Leicester Manager has continued to expect low performance as the club aim to defend their shock Premier League title.
Just three defeats - two to runners-up Arsenal - saw Leicester storm to victory by 10 points in the biggest upset in Premier League history last season.
Ranieri went from being sack race favourite to winning the League Managers' Association and Premier League Manager of the Year.

Now, he must plot their title defence which will be complicated as they try to juggle the Champions League as they start at Hull on August 13 after the season curtain raiser against Manchester United in the Community Shield on August 7.


But Ranieri has continued his philosophy of dampening expectation following last season's cautious approach and claimed they are bigger outsiders than before.
"We've won the title and it was beautiful and fantastic, it was maybe an unrepeatable achievement, but now we turn the page," he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
"If at the start of last season the bookmakers had us down as 5000-1 shots, then this time we start at 6000-1. Our objective to start the season with is to reach 40 points and stay up.
"Then, once we've reached that objective, we can raise the bar: finish in the top 10, (qualify for) the Europa League, a place in the Champions League.
"Maybe we can win one of the five trophies we will be challenging for: Community Shield, Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Champions League. That is our running order, step by step."
It has been a mixed summer for Leicester. Jamie Vardy snubbed Arsenal and signed a new deal at the King Power Stadium after his 24 goals last season helped them lift the title.
PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez has continued to be linked with a move but Ranieri remains confident he will stay.
And N'Golo Kante will be a massive void to fill after the midfielder joined Chelsea for a reported £30m after just one season with the Foxes.
The move represented a profit of around £25m for Leicester following his 2015 move from Caen and they have a ready-made replacement in Nampalys Mendy.
The midfielder has joined from Nice along with the signings of Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover) and Luis Hernandez (Sporting Gijon).
Striker Ahmed Musa joined from CSKA Moscow for a club record fee, reported to be around £16m, and Ranieri is excited with what the new boys can bring.
The Italian told the club's official site: "I don't know if he's as quick as Jamie Vardy, but he has lots of speed. It's very important to have another airplane in our squad. Remember, we are the RAF and we've signed one of them.
"I know very well Papy (Mendy) because I put him in my squad in Monaco when he was so young. He played all the matches with me and was a very important player in Monaco. I think he could help us this season.

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