Belfast Telegraph

Claudio Ranieri backs his Leicester defenders to keep Troy Deeney in check

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri insists the Foxes have a plan to stop former big-money target Troy Deeney.

The striker will face the champions for the first time on Saturday since they had multiple bids, including one of £25million, rejected by Watford in June.

The 28-year-old signed a new five-year deal at Vicarage Road in July after scoring 15 goals in his debut Premier League season last year, which convinced Leicester to try to sign him

Deeney could score his 100th goal for the Hornets against the Foxes at Vicarage Road having netted three this season but Ranieri backed Robert Huth and Wes Morgan to keep him quiet.

"Wes and Robert are very good players and they know how to stop (Odion) Ighalo and Deeney," he said, having signed Islam Slimani from Sporting Lisbon for £30million instead.

"I'm not disappointed (Leicester failed to sign Deeney), as now we have Slimani. Deeney is a very good player but not only for me but for Watford.

"He is an intelligent player, a hard worker and knows the football very well. He can score a goal or make a last pass as a number 10 - and he is a good player.

"The market is the market and you have a range of players. At the beginning you try to bring in what you want and afterwards you have to change and find a new solution."

A new hunt for Deeney, who scored against Leicester at the King Power Stadium last season, is unlikely but with the Foxes losing Slimani and Riyad Mahrez to Algeria's African Cup of Nations campaign in January and Ahmed Musa to Nigeria Ranieri did not rule out reinforcements.

He added: "We are looking, always we are looking. We have a lot of scouts to watch matches and players. If there are some good opportunities for us we will try to do them."

Huth, should he play, will make his 300th Premier League appearance - the most by a German - and Ranieri praised the 32-year-old.

He added: "Robert is very important for us, a strong man and strong personality. I'm very happy, I didn't know, I don't look at the stats. It's important for him and us to make this but it's important to win."

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