Ranieri: Zlatan? Rooney? I’d rather have our forwards

Date published: Friday 23rd September 2016 8:03

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri insists he would never swap his forward line for Manchester United’s star-studded combination.

The Foxes go to Old Trafford on Saturday with Ranieri confident his strikeforce can outshine United’s.

Record £29million signing Islam Slimani scored twice on his debut in last week’s 3-0 win over Burnley while Jamie Vardy scored 24 goals in their Premier League title win last season.

Riyad Mahrez also won the PFA Player of the Year award after netting 17 times and Ranieri insisted he would always prefer his frontline to Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Anthony Martial.

“I love my players and I don’t change them for other players. I’m very pleased with them and we think we can do a very good season this season,” he said.

“Rooney is an amazing player. He’s a champion. I don’t know (whether Rooney would be in his team), I love my players, and I don’t change my players with anybody else.

“The three have different attributes, they are different players. The football is different, they play one shape, we play another shape.”

Ranieri also insisted he has buried the hatchet with United boss Jose Mourinho and any issues are “prehistoric”.

Mourinho, who replaced Ranieri at Chelsea in 2004, has previously criticised the Italian for his achievements – before Ranieri won the Premier League last season – and his use of English.

Ranieri has mainly remained quiet but did launch a defence in 2008 when he said he did not need trophies to be sure of himself.

But the Leicester boss said any problems are behind them ahead of their second meeting in weeks after United’s 2-1 Community Shield win last month.

“Yes, but it’s prehistoric, not now,” he said. “It (their relationship) is fantastic, very good, no problems, why?

“(The issues) were a long time ago, I’m okay. All managers have a lot of jobs to do. It’s normal, he’s a great manager and a fantastic person.”

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