Claudio Ranieri wants N’Golo Kante to enjoy a hero’s reception when he returns to the King Power Stadium with Chelsea on Tuesday.
The Premier League champions host Antonio Conte’s side in the third round of the EFL Cup and the Londoners will have Kante in tow following his big-money move to Stamford Bridge during the close-season.
Ranieri managed to keep hold of other influential members of his title-winning squad, such as Jamie Vardy and Riyad Mahrez, but believes Kante should receive due appreciation.
“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,” said Ranieri.
“I will be very happy if our fans clap him at the beginning and afterwards he is an enemy.”
Vardy spurned Arsenal’s advances and led the way in signing a long-term contract extension at Leicester in June, with Mahrez following suit last month.
“They [the fans] must understand that when a big team arrives, it is difficult to say no,” Ranieri added.
“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 [Kante] 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.”