Published On: Fri, Aug 19th, 2016

Ranieri: Drinkwater 'very, very close' to new Leicester contract

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Danny Drinkwater could be the next title-winner to extend his stay with Leicester City.

Jamie Vardy, Wes Morgan, Kasper Schmeichel, Andy King, and reigning PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez have all inked new contracts this summer, and now Claudio Ranieri expects Drinkwater to follow suit.

“I think Drinky is very, very close,” said the manager. “I am very happy with Drinky, he had a fantastic season and I am sure also he can improve as he has more confidence. He can extend his career here.”

The affable Italian boss has done a commendable job in keeping most of his winning group at the division’s supposed minnow. Only N’Golo Kante, the tireless midfielder whose work was pivotal to last season’s unforeseen ease to domestic glory, left after being tempted to Antonio Conte’s Chelsea revolution. That departure does rankle with Ranieri, though.

When asked who he thought would stay at the club, he replied: “If I am honest, no one. I thought everybody wanted to stay with Leicester and continue to fight. I made a mistake. One did want to go. Kante is finished. It is not an excuse now because there isn’t Kante.”

Leicester began its title defence with a shock 2-1 loss at newly promoted Hull City, and faces a visit from Arsenal on Saturday.

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