Ranieri hopeful on Vardy and Mahrez futures


Claudio Ranieri is hopeful he can keep Leicester City's star performers at the King Power Stadium in the upcoming transfer window after a stellar first half to the Premier League season.

Leicester sit joint-top of the Premier League - trailing Arsenal on goal difference - having gone into 2015 bottom of the table under Ranieri's predecessor Nigel Pearson.

Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have been the stars of the show, boasting 28 league goals between them, while the likes of N'Golo Kante and Kasper Schmeichel have also impressed.

Ranieri refused to confirm reports of a new deal for Vardy but expressed hope for the upcoming window.

"My focus is on [Saturday's opponents] Bournemouth," he stated. "But I think nobody goes from Leicester [in January]. There's too much speculation. We want to fight, build with me - the chairman and fans.

"We can say 'start to win the title', but it's not our job. Our job is to win the next match.

"We made a fantastic half-season. It's unbelievable. We must continue building to fight at the top."

Vardy shook off an illness to feature in the goalless draw against Manchester City on Monday with Ranieri not hit by any fresh injuries ahead of the weekend clash with Eddie Howe's strugglers.

"I hope [Vardy is 100 per cent]. He had a fever but he's in full training now," the Italian added.