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Published: 22:42 | 23/7/16

Ranieri expects Mahrez to stay at Leicester


Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri is "confident" Riyad Mahrez will not leave the Premier League champions to join Arsenal.

The Algeria international has been linked with a £41m move to the Emirates Stadium, but Ranieri expects the 25-year-old to still be a Leicester player when the Foxes kick off their title defence against Hull City at the KC Stadium on 13 August.

Mahrez played 69 minutes of Leicester's International Champions Cup win over Celtic on Saturday, scoring a brilliant solo goal and earning a standing ovation from both sets of fans at Celtic Park.

"I'm confident [Mahrez will stay at Leicester], of course," the Italian said.

"We know very well there are other teams who must win the Premier League. We just have to defend it.

"I changed him at last because I said 'okay, his job is done, it's better to avoid injury'.

"I'm very happy, we have a very good dressing room. The players who came in are very good."

Ranieri, whose side won 6-5 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in 90 minutes, was pleased by the attitude and fitness of his players in the pre-season tournament, and is looking forward to matches against Barcelona next Saturday and Paris Saint-Germain on 3 August.

"I'm super happy, we played against a team ahead of us [in preparation] and I didn't see a difference," he said.

"We're on the right way for our fitness, our preparation.

"We were so concentrated, had good shape, I'm very happy. Now we have to think about international matches - Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain play in different styles.

"My players have come back with the same mentality."

In other Leicester news, Gokhan Inler is set to leave the King Power Stadium this summer after being left out of the squad flying to the United States to face PSG.

The former Switzerland captain was left out of his country's Euro 2016 squad after losing his first-team place in December, just three months after his £5 million move from Napoli.

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