Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri says the club have no intention of selling England international Danny Drinkwater.
The midfielder came through the academy at Manchester United and reports have emerged this week linking him with a return to Old Trafford when the transfer window re-opens. But speaking ahead of Leicester’s Saturday lunchtime showdown with United, Ranieri insisted he would not be keen to part with Drinkwater.
“It’s speculation,” said the Italian boss. “I’m surprised, because it’s usually a month before the window opens that this sort of speculation starts. But now, is good. When big teams want our players, it is good for us. One year ago, no one was asking about our players. Now there are big big teams asking.
“Now they must be proud, but continue in this way. He [Drinkwater] has signed a new contract, he doesn’t have a [release] clause. If he wants to go to Man U, OK, but we want to keep him.”
Ranieri has had his share of run-ins with United boss Jose Mourinho, who succeeded him as Chelsea manager back in 2004.
But Ranieri says the duo are now on good terms and that he will be happy to chat to the United boss over a post-match drink.
“He is a great manager, a fantastic person,” said Ranieri. “I wish him all the best, but not now – after Saturday.
“Maybe he has to offer me a good glass of red wine.
“I love red wine. If he offers, I go.”