Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has said he would “understand” if N’Golo Kante decided to leave the champions this summer.
The Italian boss has confirmed he has offered the midfield anchor a new contract, believed to be four years, and is still waiting to hear back about the player’s future plans.
Asked anout the 25-year-old’s future, Ranieri told the Leicester Mercury: “I don’t know. I know one thing, we have offered a new deal of a contract to him.
“He wanted to wait because he wanted to finish Euro 2016. Now I hear there is so much speculation behind him.
“I don’t want to lose him. I don’t want to, but I could understand if he wants to go.
“At this point, I hope the team bring the maximum. I don’t know about the money, I am not a manager, just a coach, so I don’t speak about money. I say what I feel, I want him here.”
Kante joined Leicester from Caen only last summer for just £5.65million and signed a four-year deal, but his brilliant debut season has led to the club offering him a lucrative new deal amid speculation that Chelsea have agreed a £29million transfer.
Ranieri refused to confirm reports that Chelsea have submitted a bid for Kante, but admitted he is hoping for a quick resolution on the France midfielder’s future.
He added: “I don’t want to speak about this kind of speculation. Maybe it is not Chelsea, maybe it is another team with Champions League.
“I speak to him but I can’t tell you. I speak often with him.
“I would like now to be sure who stays with me or not, because now we start the friendly games and I have to manage change and try to do something.
“I would like to understand if he would like to stay with me or no.”