Claudio Ranieri has dismissed reports linking Jamie Vardy with a move to Real Madrid, insisting the striker is happy at the King Power Stadium.
Vardy has been in sensational form for the Foxes this season, and scored for the seventh consecutive Premier League match in the 1-0 win against Crystal Palace on Saturday. This takes his tally for the campaign to 10, making him the leading marksman after the same number of fixtures, and reports in Spain claim Rafael Benitez has taken an interest in signing him for Real.
Such interest, if true, would be remarkable for a player who up until the summer of 2012 was plying his trade in the non-league for Fleetwood Town. Ranieri appears to be relaxed over the speculation, even welcoming it to a point, but at the same time the Italian has no fears that the 28-year-old will soon be looking to leave Leicester for the warmer climes of the Spanish capital.
“He is happy with us, he’s happy with his contract and that’s important,” he said. “Maybe [we’ll look at it] at the end of the season, with a lot of goals scored. Speculation is good but it’s important my players are very focused about the pitch. Not many teams can buy him now. He is very happy here and we don’t want to sell him. When I look at him he feels good and that’s important.”
Vardy signed a new contract last year which is designed to keep him at City until the summer of 2018, so there is certainly no worry that his value will diminish if the club dismiss the possibility of selling him in the near future. In the meantime, the striker will not feature in the League Cup against Hull City this week as he is rested for the trip to West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.