Leicester City: ET landing more likely than defending title – Claudio Ranieri

Claudio Ranieri

Aliens are more likely to land in London than Leicester City defending their Premier League title, according to Foxes manager Claudio Ranieri.

The champions, a 5,000-1 shot for the title last season, begin their campaign at Hull City on Saturday.

Ranieri, 64, expects Manchester United, Chelsea and Manchester City to mount strong challenges after the Foxes finished 10 points clear last term.

"It is impossible. It is more difficult than last season," said the Italian.

"It's easier for ET to come to Piccadilly Circus. It is normal that we can't win the league. For this reason I say the bookmakers must do 6,000-1.

"I am very curious, all the world is curious, what will happen with Leicester. I am very curious to see where we finish."

Ranieri, who signed a new contract until 2020 on Wednesday, believes all the "big teams" faltering in the same campaign "only happens once in a lifetime".

"Of course the big teams are ready to fight for the title, we are ready to defend our title but we know it is a difficult gap - last season we made something unbelievable," added the former Chelsea boss.

Ranieri has a fully fit squad ahead of the trip to the KC Stadium and says last season's PFA player of the year Riyad Mahrez will not be leaving the club.

"I don't know, who is interested? Tell me if there is one," said Ranieri regarding transfer speculation surrounding the midfielder.

"Riyad will stay with us. I say: 'Hey keep going, we have to improve, also you have to improve your experience in the Champions League - it's totally different.'"

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