Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri would understand N'Golo Kante exit
By Nick Lustig
Last Updated: 15/07/16 6:16pm
Claudio Ranieri has admitted he would understand if N'Golo Kante decided to leave Leicester this summer, but hopes the midfielder signs a new contract with the Premier League champions.
Kante joined Leicester as a relative unknown from Caen only last summer and played a leading role in the Foxes' rise to unlikely title winners.
Sky sources understand Leicester have offered the France international a new four-year deal amid speculation that a host of European clubs are interested in signing him this summer.
When asked about Kante's future, Ranieri told the Leicester Mercury: "I don't know. I know one thing, we have offered a new deal of a contract to him.
"He wanted to wait because he wanted to finish Euro 2016. Now I hear there is so much speculation behind him.
"I don't want to lose him. I don't want to, but I could understand if he wants to go.
"At this point, I hope the team bring the maximum. I don't know about the money, I am not a manager, just a coach, so I don't speak about money. I say what I feel, I want him here."
Kante is yet to link up with the Leicester squad ahead of the new season and is currently enjoying an extended period of rest after helping France reach the Euro 2016 final.
Ranieri refused to confirm reports in the national press that Chelsea have submitted a bid for Kante, but admitted he is hoping for a quick resolution on the 25-year-old's future.
He added: "I don't want to speak about this kind of speculation. Maybe it is not Chelsea, maybe it is another team with Champions League.
"I speak to him but I can't tell you. I speak often with him.
"I would like now to be sure who stays with me or not, because now we start the friendly games and I have to manage change and try to do something.
"I would like to understand if he would like to stay with me or no."