Italian manager Claudio Ranieri has signed a new contract at Premier League champions Leicester City after a historic debut campaign with the Foxes. The 64-year-old’s new deal runs on until the summer of 2020.
After firing his unfancied Leicester City side to the Premier League title, defying the astronomical 5000-1 odds before him, Ranieri will now lead his charges and hope to make an impact on the grandest stage in Europe – the UEFA Champions League, for which they will be seeded in the first pot alongside football’s greatest clubs including Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich.
Despite losing star midfielder N’Golo Kante to Chelsea earlier in the summer, Leicester have already pinned down Jamie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel and captain Wes Morgan to complement the extension of their manager.
“The energy that exists here – from the owners and the staff, to the players and supporters – is something very special.
“Last season, that spirit and our hard work helped us to achieve something magical. If we can continue to work hard, maintain our passion and continue to fight with all our hearts, I am sure we can continue to be successful together, said the Italian.
Leicester City’s vice-chairman, Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, praised Ranieri’s decision to extend his stay,
“Twelve months ago, we brought to Leicester City a man whose knowledge and experience, we felt, could lead us into the next phase of our long-term plan.
“What he would go on to help us achieve, in the time we have achieved it, has been beyond anything we could have anticipated.”
Ranieri’s next task will be to keep hold of reigning PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez. The Algerian winger, who bagged 17 goals and 10 assists in the Premier League last season and was crucial to Leicester’s title win, is linked with a move to Arsenal for a reported £38 million fee. Should the move go through, it would be a huge blow for the champions.
Leicester begin their title defence at the KC Stadium against Hull City on Saturday in the Premier League’s opening fixture for the 2016-17 campaign.