Ranieri finally ready to drop stars of Leicester's title-winning season

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Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri says he is ready to drop some of the stars of last season's Premier League title success having given them every chance to turn the club's 2016-17 campaign around.

Under-pressure Ranieri has seen the champions lose five consecutive top-flight matches, slipping to 17th in the table as the threat of relegation looms large.

Leicester are only one point clear of the bottom three and have failed to score in six straight league matches since the start of 2017, the first time the defending champions have suffered that fate in front of goal.

Ranieri held crisis talks with Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy prior to Sunday's 2-0 defeat at relegation rivals Swansea City, a loss which appears to have been the final straw for the Italian's patience with many of his under-performing key names.

Asked if he was too loyal to last season's stars, Ranieri said: "I could be, could be.

"It is difficult when you achieve something so good. You want to give them one chance, two chances, three chances. 

"Maybe now, it is too much. Of course I must change something because it is not possible to continue in this way.

"We need to work together to find a solution. The machine is not broken, but when you don't play at your maximum level and the others stay at the top, it is a difficult battle.

"We stick together and we are training hard. I am very strong, very confident with my players. 

"I believe in everything and it just takes the right moment to go back. I have all the support of the club, of the fans - everybody."