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Saturday 10 December 2016

Ranieri hopes Kante gets nice Foxes welcome

N'Golo Kante
N'Golo Kante

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri hopes N'Golo Kante will get a hero's welcome when he makes his first return to the Foxes.

The midfielder quit the champions for Chelsea in a £32million deal in the summer after helping them win the Premier League last season.

He was the only key member of the title-winning team to leave the King Power Stadium following their shock success as Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez and Kasper Schmeichel signed new contracts.

Kante returns with Chelsea in the third round of the League Cup tonight and Ranieri is looking forward to their reunion.

Happy

"I am very happy and I will give to him a very warm welcome back and I am sure also our fans they must appreciate what he did last season and give him a warm welcome," he said. "I will be very happy if our fans clap him at the beginning and afterwards he is an enemy.

"They must understand that when arrives a big team it is difficult to say no. For this reason I say thank you to Jamie Vardy and his family, and to Riyad when they decided to stay here. For us it was important to maintain everybody.

"He was very important for us and I think he was even more important for us than at Chelsea because Chelsea have so many big players."

Ranieri faces Chelsea having been boss at Stamford Bridge between 2000 and 2004 and managed against current Chelsea chief Antonio Conte while the pair were in Italy.

Trophies

He added: "He (Conte) is a winner, but of course he needs time. The reality here is different than in Italy and his job is bigger now. But he is right and I think he can lift some trophies.

"You need to understand the league and your players. The players must understand him and how he manages and how he changes, what he wants. I watch a good Chelsea so far."

Schmeichel will sit out again as he recovers from the concussion he suffered on Friday which saw him miss Saturday's 3-0 win over Burnley.

Ron-Robert Zieler will start in goal but Matty James and Nampalys Mendy (both ankle) are not yet fit.

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