Football: Leicester owner confident of keeping star players

Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez (left) and Jamie Vardy
Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez (left) and Jamie VardyPHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Leicester City's billionaire owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha says he is optimistic of hanging on to the club's key players next season amid speculation linking them to bigger rivals in England or Europe.

Premier League Player of the Season Jamie Vardy, PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez and midfielder N'Golo Kante played key roles in firing Leicester to a remarkable title-winning season.

"I am confident we can keep them and I think they will come with us," Srivaddhanaprabha told British media.

"They can be the top players in our team. If they go to another team they might have to sit on the bench. Who knows?"

Leicester, who finished 10 points ahead of Arsenal in the Premier League table, will make their first appearance in the Champions League.

The Thai owner believes the club's entry into Europe's elite club competition will be an added incentive for them to hold onto its top players.

"We are playing in the Champions League and they are quite happy to stay in our team," the club owner added.