Raneiri happy with speculation

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Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri welcomes speculation linking his best players to big clubs in Europe because it shows how well they are playing.

The Foxes spectacular start to the season, which sees them in a lofty third position in the Premier League, has been spearheaded by the performances of striker Jamie Vardy and winger Riyah Mahrez.

Reports have emerged suggestion Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are keeping an eye on Mahrez with a view to January's transfer window, while Vardy's goal-scoring prowess has earned him a birth in the England national squad.

"It's good because that means we have very good players. One week it's Vardy, the next week it's Mahrez but it is only speculation," Ranieri told Sky Sports.

"Riyad is very happy with us. He signed a new contract and the same with Jamie. It could affect him at the beginning but he is intelligent. It's normal when players grow up, they hear about big clubs interested in them.

"Riyad is young, he can improve, but we are very happy with Jamie and Riyad. We play good football but at the end you have to score. They score. They link very well together, and work hard for the team."

Mahrez has contributed seven goals to Leicester's campaign, while Vardy leads the league with 11, including nine strikes in his last eight games.

"Jamie is an intelligent player. What Roy Hodgson asks of him, he tries to do the best for the team, for the England squad. He's not selfish. In my opinion he has to be free. When he's free, he's amazing," Ranieri added.

"But we play with two strikers, not with one striker. I am not Roy. I respect him, his shape. For me in my team he plays free, forward."

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