Ranieri aiming to retire at Leicester


Claudio Ranieri hopes to retire from coaching at the end of his time at Leicester City, but is open to signing a long-term deal at the King Power Stadium.

Veteran Italian Ranieri has led Leicester to a sensational Premier League title bid during his first season at the helm and the club sit top of the table with a five-point advantage over closest rivals Tottenham with eight games remaining.

Ranieri does not see himself managing another club when his time at Leicester comes to an end, but he is in no rush to call time on his career.

"I am fine in Leicester and do not think about moving. I think this will be my last club," Ranieri told Marca.

"I hope they give me a long contract, six or seven years, and then I can retire here.

"I've always had a lot of opportunities. I'm a lucky man to work in what I love most - for almost 30 years I have enjoyed my greatest passion."

Riyad Mahrez and N'Golo Kante have been among Leicester's outstanding performers this season and have subsequently been linked with moves to the likes of Barcelona and Real Mardrid, while Jamie Vardy - the Premier League's joint-highest goalscorer this season with 19 goals - signed a new contract in February.

But Ranieri is confident of keeping hold of his prize assets, claiming they are "kings" at the club.

"I think so [we will be able to keep them]. Mahrez and Kante are just beginning; they are not over 25-years-old, have quality and must go slowly. And Vardy we already know [he will stay]" the coach added.

"We will have to see. Here in Leicester they are the kings. Everything goes well and everyone is happy, but when you go to a big club the pressure is enormous and you have to give everything."

Despite leading the way in the top-flight, Ranieri is adamant there is no pressure on his side to claim the trophy with their season objective of avoiding relegation already achieved.

"I have a tight, wonderful dressing room and the team works, but we know we have not done anything," he added.

"Everyone expects us to win the Premier League. It's amazing that in the era of money a small team is performing this feat.

"Leicester is a small club and you have to go slowly. We have achieved the most important goal, we have already won - we will play in the Premier League next season.

"Now, let's fight for the Europa League. And if we stay on top, we will try to enter the Champions League and then be champions, but we must go slowly."