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Mahrez, room for improvement

By August 18, 2016No Comments

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has told Riyad Mahrez he must improve after the winger committed his future to the east midlands club.

The Algeria international penned a new four-year deal on Wednesday to end transfer speculation having been heavily linked to Arsenal.

The Gunners come to the champions on Saturday having also failed to persuade Jamie Vardy to quit Leicester and move to north London.

Mahrez scored 17 goals and won the PFA Player of the Year award as the Foxes won the Premier League by 10 points, but Ranieri wants more.

He said: “We are now in the Champions League and we need something more to play against the big teams. Now he knows very well what I want and my expectations are higher. Not only for Riyad but for all my players.

“I was so sure (he would stay), it was only speculation with first Vardy and then Mahrez and we only lost (N’Golo) Kante. Now it’s important to stay together.

“We spoke together last season and in pre-season and he told me he wanted to stay. Speculation is normal.

“I want to keep our big players, that’s normal. Our owner is very ambitious, he wants to maintain the same squad. It’s normal other managers are looking at Leicester players, there’s no message – we are building and want to stay together.

“He signed for four years, me too because I want to build. He wants to build something , Jamie wants to, Kasper (Schmeichel), everybody. It is good.”

But Leicester could still lose Jeff Schlupp to West Brom with Albion refusing to give up the chase for the wide man, despite having a £12million bid rejected. The Baggies are preparing another offer for the Ghana international.

He wants more playing time after starting 14 league games last season and is keen on a switch to The Hawthorns but Ranieri remains adamant he will remain at the King Power Stadium.

He said: “He stays with us, he is very happy. It is always good news. I am happy when I have this position, a lot of players. It is important to have a lot of quality players to choose from.”

Robert Huth is available to face Arsenal at the weekend after suspension having completed his three-game ban following a tangle with Marouane Fellaini last season.

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