Claudio Ranieri says Danny Drinkwater is close to joining Riyad Mahrez in committing his future to Premier League champions Leicester City.
Drinkwater was one of the understated stars of the Foxes unlikely title success last season, but media reports suggested he had rejected a new deal to stay at the King Power Stadium and Tottenham were monitoring the England midfielder’s situation.
However, manager Ranieri is confident that Drinkwater – whose current deal runs until 2018 – will reject any overtures for his services and put pen to paper on fresh terms.
“Danny is very, very close to signing a new contract,” Ranieri told a news conference ahead of Saturday’s encounter with Arsenal.
“Our owner is very ambitious. He wants to maintain the same spirit and squad. He’s very curious about this season.
“We have very good players. It’s normal other managers look at Leicester players. We want to continue. We want to stay together.”
Leicester sent out a statement of intent by tying down star winger Mahrez – winner of the PFA Player of the Year award last season – to a new contract until June 2020 on Wednesday, despite reported interest from Arsenal and Barcelona.
Mahrez joins the likes of Jamie Vardy, Kasper Schmeichel and Wes Morgan in committing his future to the club and Ranieri is delighted the Algeria international has opted to stay put.
“I’m very pleased about Mahrez’s renewal, but I was always confident,” Ranieri added.
“We spoke together last season and also in pre-season. He told me he wanted to stay.
“Maybe now Riyad will be a little more free. But he was never really anxious or nervous.”