Albrighton: No reason for Mahrez or Vardy to leave Leicester

The Foxes have endured a stuttering start to life as defending Premier League champions, but the ex-Aston Villa man feels morale in the squad is keeping the team together

Leicester City winger Marc Albrighton has questioned why anyone would want to depart the Premier League champions as they continued their fine start to life in the Champions League.

The likes of Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy have signed new long-term deals with the Foxes despite interest in their services from elsewhere, but a poor start to the defence of their domestic crown has seen speculation grow that star names could yet leave if European football is not secured for next season.

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Claudio Ranieri’s side have made a flying start to life in the Champions League, however, having made it two wins from two as they defeated Porto at the King Power Stadium.

And Albrighton – who himself signed a new four-year deal in recent weeks – feels the morale within the squad lends itself to players sticking with the club rather than being tempted by traditionally bigger names in the footballing world.

“I think everybody enjoys it here and if we’re enjoying it then we’ll play well,” he told reporters.

“Everything will look after itself then. I don’t see any reason why anybody would want to leave the club at the minute.

“Obviously we’ve had some tough games in the league so far going to Liverpool and Old Trafford. They’re tough games and there’s no getting away from that.

“But the manner in which we lost both those games was tough to take. If we can sort that form out in the league and carry on this form then we’ll have a good season.”

Tuesday’s win over Porto came about thanks to Islam Slimani’s third goal in four starts following his summer arrival from Sporting, with the Algeria international heading in compatriot Mahrez’s inswinging cross.

And Albrighton has hailed the goalscoring exploits of the 28-year-old striker, though he is refusing to get ahead of himself despite Leicester sitting top of Group G after their first two games in the competition.

“Obviously three goals so early in his career has been brilliant. It’s unfortunate nowadays that you don’t get a settling in period over here with the Premier League and the Champions League, but he obviously hasn’t needed one.

“It’s brilliant that he’s scoring goals for him personally and that breeds confidence through the team.

“We’ve given ourselves the best possible chance but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves.

“We’ve got four tough games coming up in this competition and if we win our home games then I think we’ll qualify. That’s a long way in the future but that’s definitely our aim.

“We said before the competition started that we need to make this place a fortress for teams coming over and I think we certainly showed that tonight against a top Porto side. Hopefully we can show it again against Copenhagen.”

No truth to England rumours, says Klinsmann

The German says there is no chance that he will take over the Three Lions, adding his sole focus is on United State’s next World Cup qualifier

Jurgen Klinsmann says there is “no truth” to the speculation linking him with the vacant England manager job.

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The United States boss, who was linked with the position following Roy Hodgson’s resignation in June, has again been touted for the role in the wake of Sam Allardyce’s departure.

But the former Germany star says his sole focus is on his side’s World Cup qualifier against Mexico in November.

“No truth to the rumours regarding England,” he posted via his official Twitter account. “Our entire focus is on November 11 when Columbus will rock.”

No truth to the rumors regarding England. Our entire focus is on November 11 when Columbus will rock:

— Jürgen Klinsmann (@J_Klinsmann) September 28, 2016

Allardyce left his post by mutual consent after he was filmed allegedly telling undercover journalists that he could offer guidance on how to circumvent Football Association laws on player transfers.

Steve Bruce, Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew and Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe have also been suggested as Allardyce’s possible full-time successors.

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Under-21 manager Gareth Southgate will take charge of the senior side for the next four matches, including the World Cup qualifier against Malta on October 8.

Iwobi: Arsenal nearly let me go

The revelation revealed he came close to leaving the Emirates side on more than one occasion during his younger years, with the club having doubts over whether he was good enough

Alex Iwobi has lit up Arsenal’s season so far but revealed the club were close to releasing him during his time with their youth academy.

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The Nigeria international joined the Arsenal academy at the tender age of nine and made his first-team debut in a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday in October 2015.

Iwobi has since developed into an important member of Arsene Wenger’s team, contributing the joint-most number of assists this season alongside Alexis Sanchez.

But the starlet has made it clear things could very well have panned out differently while he was coming through the ranks.

“I was almost released at 14, again at 16 and just about got a professional contract after that,” the 20-year-old forward told Standard Sport.

“Especially at 14, I thought I was very close to not making it. It was stressful as I was going through school, trying to balance that and make sure I was still signed for Arsenal. It was really difficult for me.

“We usually found out in December who might be kept on but I kept on getting the question ‘is he good enough?’ So they extended it to see if I could do something and it went to March and then April. Luckily I did enough.

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“At 16, I got the option to leave but I always felt at home at Arsenal and that was where I wanted to be.

“At 16, there were a lot of good players, a few internationals in the team at a young age so it was difficult for me to stand out in the games.

“They always want the best and I wasn’t really up there at that age. The fact that I kept getting chances makes me feel lucky.”

Van Persie cannot rule out future England move

The ex-Arsenal and Manchester United star has revealed his children – who he says are more English than Dutch – will decide his next destination

Fenerbache forward Robin van Persie is open to the possibility of an England return, saying his children will have a significant say in where he plays from now.

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The Netherlands international plies his trade in Turkey, having previously turned out for Feyenoord, Arsenal and Manchester United.

And the 33-year-old concedes his family has become a growing influence as he plots his next steps and stated he may yet ply his trade on English shores.

“We’ve moved around in recent years and that suits me very well,” Van Persie is quoted as telling Feyenoord TV

“Over the years I have seen that you cannot really plan your career. You have to take it as it comes. There are all kinds of things in your path and you accept it or not.

“That’s how I will approach the last few years. I’m open to everything. I’ve been away from the Netherlands for 13 years and that suits me fine. Whether it’s in England, Turkey or wherever.

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“The kids are involved. They are even more English than Dutch because they grew up there. There comes a time when they also get a bigger say in where they’d like to live and be.”

Van Persie takes on former club Feyenoord with Fener in the Europa League on Thursday in a continental campaign that will also see him face United in Group A.

Vardy reveals why he turned down summer move to Arsenal

The England international has revealed h was concerned he would not suit the Gunners’ playing style and is glad he opted to stay with the Foxes

Leicester City star Jamie Vardy has revealed he rejected Arsenal because he felt their style of play did not suit him.

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The England international led Leicester to a stunning Premier League title triumph last season, scoring 24 goals.

The 29-year-old’s fine performances prompted Arsenal to trigger his release cause, but Vardy was worried about Arsenal’s possession-based style and eventually signed a new deal with Leicester instead.

“With people like Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil creating chances, Arsenal felt they could benefit me as much as I could them,” he wrote in The Sun.

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“But I also thought about the tactical aspect.

“You look at Arsenal’s style of play and they don’t get the ball forward quickly in the same way  Leicester do for those runs  I like to make in behind the defence.

“One thing that didn’t worry me was the idea that I wouldn’t be the ‘main man’ at Arsenal.”

The forward played down the significance of loyalty and his team-mates in deciding to stay at the King Power Stadium.

“Players always come and go. It was more a case of seeing Leicester as a club that wanted to build on what we achieved with the title and I want to be part of that,” Vardy wrote.

“I’m happy with how everything has turned out.

“‘The dream continues,’ Claudio [Ranieri] texted me after I agreed to stay. That’s exactly how I felt, too.”

Vardy has made a slower start to this campaign, netting twice in six league games with Ranieri’s men sitting 12th in the table.

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