Ranieri: Kante could leave

Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri has admitted that N’Golo Kante could leave the Premier League leaders at the end of the season if they receive a big offer for the midfielder.

The French international has played a pivotal role in the Foxes’ impressive domestic campaign, having moved to the King Power Stadium from Caen last summer.

His performances for club and country of late have caught the attention of several clubs, with Juventus and Arsenal reportedly leading the race for his signature.

Last month, Kante said that his focus at the moment was on performing well for Leicester, but Ranieri noted that it might be difficult to keep hold of the 25-year-old beyond the end of the current Premier League campaign.

“I think he should rest [stay] here, he’s working very well,” Ranieri is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.

“But if big teams arrive that will give us a lot of money, maybe we can think about it if he’s not happy here and wants to go.

“I don’t want sad people here – I want my players to be happy. He’s always smiling. There is a chance he could leave but our focus is on the pitch for the last seven matches. After that is another season.”

Leicester are currently five points clear of second-placed Tottenham, and it seems as if the former Chelsea and Valencia boss accepted that his side will be competing in next year’s Champions League, having previously spoken of Europa League qualification.

“Now our focus is to try to achieve the Champions League. There are so many teams [competing] but everything is in our hands. It’s important to see how many matches there are (left) when we achieve the Champions League 100 percent. If we have time to fight for the title, I don’t know,” he added.

“We weren’t ready to fight for the title but I remember when I built Valencia they arrived twice in the final of the Champions League. It’s difficult to say [if Leicester are ready] but it’s good to go.”