Puel targeting Europa League to help retain players

Steven Chicken
during a Press Conference at St Georges Park on September 10, 2018 in Burton-upon-Trent, England.

Leicester boss Claude Puel admits the Foxes need European football to match his stars’ ambitions.

The club are ninth in the Premier League and poised to battle for a Europa League spot this season, sitting just a point behind Everton, Bournemouth, and Manchester United.

Arsenal have been linked with England international Ben Chilwell while Manchester United wanted Harry Maguire in the summer before the defender signed a five-year deal in September.

But Puel conceded, before Saturday’s visit of Tottenham, Leicester need to play in Europe to have a better chance of keeping the squad together.

“I think it would be better, of course,” said the manager, who is without the injured Jamie Vardy on Saturday. “We know the difficulties, it’s so difficult. We normally have six top clubs and without a problem, it’s difficult to finish in that top six.

“After that, there are one or two more places, from the cups. It’s difficult, but of course it would be a fantastic feeling for this club (to achieve Europe).

“But I think we are with a lot of clubs thinking the same thing.

“We will see at the end of the season. It’s not just a concern of Harry, I think it’s a concern of a lot of players.

“If they can see the club makes improvements in its structure and in the quality of the squad to perform and compete with the top clubs in the table, I think we can respond to their ambition.

“I hope we can continue to improve and show the necessary ambition to satisfy all of these players to continue with Leicester.

“For the moment, I think there is a fantastic feeling between the club and them. They are happy to play for Leicester City but of course we need to match their ambition.

“They need to think they can perform with this club at the top of the table and to think they can win something.”