Life will go on without Steve Walsh at Leicester - Claudio Ranieri

22 July 2016 05:23

Claudio Ranieri insists life will go on for Leicester despite Steve Walsh's departure to Everton.

The Foxes boss was disappointed to see his influential assistant manager depart for Goodison Park earlier this week.

As the Premier League champions' head of recruitment, Walsh was also responsible for unearthing many of the players who led the club to their shock title triumph.

New Toffees boss Ronald Koeman hopes he can achieve similar success by appointing Walsh as Everton's first director of football and Ranieri is now on the look out for the 51-year-old's replacement.

But the Italian is confident that no matter who takes on the role in future, Leicester will not face disruption.

Speaking ahead of the International Champions Cup friendly encounter with Celtic in Glasgow, Ranieri said: "I worked with Steve at Chelsea a long time ago. I was very pleased to work with him also here at Leicester.

"Now he wants to go and I can only say thank you. He worked so well here.

"But now we have our plan and will continue with our plan.

"Without me, without the players, football always goes on."

Walsh has been credited with discovering the likes of Riyad Mahrez and N'Golo Kante.

The latter has already moved on to Chelsea in a £30million deal while Ranieri preferred not to discuss Mahrez's future as he dismissed recent chatter surrounding the Algeria international's contract talks as "speculation".

He did confirm left-back Ben Chilwell was closing in on a new deal and also rejected claims striker Leonardo Ulloa could be set to quit the King Power Stadium.

According to reports, the Argentinian is considering his Foxes future amid concerns he has dropped behind new signing Ahmed Musa in Ranieri's pecking order.

But Ranieri added: "It is not true because nobody asked me something. It is only speculation.

"The player is very, very happy. He works in training sessions and the last match very well.

"I'm so happy with him and all my players. My plan is to keep all the players.

"N'Golo Kante wants to go - okay good luck to him. But the others want to stay."

Leicester are stepping up their pre-season preparations following Tuesday night's low-key win at Oxford with Saturday's clash against Brendan Rodgers' Hoops.

And Ranieri believes his side will be given the perfect test at Celtic Park.

"Celtic are ahead of us," he said. "They have already played Champions League games. It is very good for us to increase our fitness and stamina.

"It will be a very, very important match to give us more experience because all the players are of international experience.

"I don't see there will be a big gap because they are in good condition and we are starting now.

"The result is not important. It is important though that nobody is injured."

Source: PA