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Ranieri shrugs off liar jibe in Ulloa dispute


London (AFP) – Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri insists he has no problem with unhappy striker Leonardo Ulloa despite being branded a liar by one of the Argentine’s agents.

Ulloa handed in a transfer request last week but the Premier League champions have reportedly rejected a bid from Spanish club Alaves because Ranieri would prefer to keep him.

Horacio Rossi, who helps represent Ulloa, was quoted this week saying he was tired of the “lies” from Ranieri and director of football Jon Rudkin.

Ulloa is disgruntled after starting just once in the Premier League this season and he has not been offered a new deal after helping the Foxes win the title last season.

But ahead of Friday’s FA Cup fourth-round trip to Derby, Ranieri said he has spoken to the 30-year-old and cleared the air.

“The agent said I was a liar but I don’t want to respond to him. It’s different, I understand him because he (Ulloa) is Latin and when someone speaks when it’s not me why do I have to apologise for that person?” Ranieri said.

“With Leo I have a fantastic relationship and I have to support him. Two seasons ago he was the goalscorer, we paid a lot of money for him. 

“Last season every time I put him on the pitch he made a fantastic performance. I understand him when this season once or twice he went to the stand, not on the bench.

“He said ‘last season I saw the light, I had a chance to play but this season I don’t feel this’. I understand him but he must also understand me. 

“If I have to let him go, for me it’s not good.”

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