Jamie Vardy has dismissed the idea of leaving Premier League champions Leicester City during the close season and the England striker hopes Claudio Ranieri’s squad can shock Europe’s elite.
Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year Vardy took his tally of league goals to 24 this season on Saturday as Leicester celebrated their remarkable title triumph with a 3-1 win over Everton.
The likes of Vardy, PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez and France midfielder N’Golo Kante have all been tipped to make big-money moves following their exploits.
By the same token, Vardy knows a host of players will be candidates for a potential transfer to King Power Stadium, given the incentive of playing Champions League football.
And the 29-year-old, who was speaking at the launch of his V9 Academy project, is hopeful Ranieri can retain the close-knit feel that has been central to the squad’s success.
“I’ve just won the league and I’ll be playing in the Champions League next year. I’m happy here,” he said.
“There’s going to be names thrown into the hat all summer.
But with the group of lads that we’ve got – winning the league and we’ve got with Champions League football next year – you’d hope it would keep everyone together.
“Nothing’s really been spoken about between the lads [regarding close-season moves]. We’ve just been concentrating on each and every game, as they come.
“One thing that we want to do is to keep that mentality of wining. We’ll be back on that training field this week to hopefully put in a performance on Sunday that gets us another win.”
As national champions, Leicester will be among the seeded teams for next season’s Champions League group stages under a change to competition rules.
Vardy does not believe their playing style will hold any great surprises for the continent’s big-hitters but expects Ranieri to stick with methods that have proved so improbably successful.
“We’ve got ourselves into this situation playing that way, so why change it? It’s worked for us so we’ll hopefully make sure it works for us again,” he added.
“Leicester’s been on everyone’s radar all season, with all the stories that have been coming out about how well we’ve been doing.
“A lot of the European teams have probably been watching us. They’ll have to do their homework, as well as we’ll have to do our homework on them.
“Once it comes to game time it will be 100 per cent going out and getting wins.”