Claudio Ranieri warns off suitors of ‘key man’ Danny Drinkwater

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has revealed Danny Drinkwater has no release fee clause in his contract as he warned clubs off the midfielder.

The England international signed a fresh five-year deal last month as the Foxes tied their stars down following last season’s stunning Premier League triumph. 

Manchester United were linked with the 26-year-old, who was a trainee at Old Trafford, this week ahead of Leicester’s trip to Old Trafford today.

But Ranieri insisted Drinkwater remained key to his plans and the Foxes had no desire to lose one of their stars after Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez signed new deals, also without release clauses.

“This is a good process to improve because one year ago nobody was asking about our players,” he said.

“Now there are big, big teams and my players must be very proud of this but maintain their way. 

“He signed a new contract and he doesn’t have a clause and if Manchester want him it is okay. 

“We don’t want to sell anybody. We only lost (N’Golo) Kante because he had a clause but no other player we lost. 

“We want to keep all the players.”

Drinkwater has played in every game of Leicester’s season so far, including 120 minutes of Tuesday’s 4-2 extra time EFL Cup defeat to Chelsea. 

Under Ranieri he has won three England caps and the Premier League title and Drinkwater credits the Italian with restoring his self-belief.

“Before he joined the club I had a season where I didn’t really play a lot of football,” he said. 

He is picking me week in week out so I obviously thank him for that. He has put a lot of trust in me and I am hopefully repaying him. 

“I am sure you can tell at the outside just what we have achieved since he has been here.”

Leicester are 11th and two points behind United in the league but Drinkwater says the champions must go to Old Trafford with confidence.

“United is a huge club but we are champions so we need to go there with the right mentality and hopefully come away with the three points,” he added.


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