Claudio Ranieri and Leicester City deserve all the plaudits and bonuses that have come their way following their fairytale Premier League triumph last season.
Nine Foxes players were handed fresh £100,000-per-week long-term deals after they helped pip the traditional favourites to the league title.
The rewards did not stop at new contracts, though, with every first-team player also given a brand new £105,000 BMW i8 supercar to boot.
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But for all Ranieri’s men have received in the wake of their heroic efforts, it no longer counts for much in the eyes of the Leicester boss.
The Italian has fired a stern warning to his squad, claiming none of his players are safe from the axe if they fail to perform to their maximum.
“Everybody has renewed their contracts and we have broken our transfer record again. But this is football at the highest level. There is not a hierarchy here,” Ranieri said, as per The Sun.
“They all know they can play — or they can be left out. It’s not a case that somebody who played last season is sure to play this season.
“I watch every training session and I watch every match. If I see someone is doing better then I’ll change things. Nobody is sure of their shirt.
“They have to perform to the highest level and if I see them drop below that I have the players to replace them.
“That is important. I want competition so there is a big fight in the dressing room. It’s better for me because then only the strongest survive.”
Ranieri has spent £70 million on new signings this summer in a bid to freshen up his squad as they attempt to juggle domestic and European commitments.
The champions have taken four points from their opening three fixtures of the new season, and face a testing visit to Liverpool’s Anfield on Saturday.
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