Jamie Vardy claims he is ‘hurt’ by the suggestion he masterminded a dressing room revolt in order to get Claudio Ranieri sacked.
The likable Italian was dismissed on Thursday, less than 10 months on from guiding the Foxes to a 5000-1 triumph and the most unlikely of Premier League victories.
Vardy initially thrived under the former Chelsea boss, scoring 23 times as Leicester romped to the title last season but the England international, who turned down a summer move to Arsenal, has, like the rest of his side, found the going tougher this time around.
Reports claim the 30-year-old was among a group of senior players who asked the board to sack Ranieri following Wednesday night’s Champions League defeat against Sevilla.
But Vardy has reacted angrily to those claims and insisted the only reason it has taken him so long to thank his former manager publicly is down to the fact he struggled to articulate his true feelings.
He wrote on Instagram: ‘I must have written and deleted my words to this post a stupid amount of times!
‘I owed Claudio to find the right and appropriate words! Claudio has and always will have my complete respect!
‘What we achieved together and as a team was the impossible! He believed in me when many didn’t and for that I owe him my eternal gratitude.
‘There is speculation I was involved in his dismissal and this completely untrue, unfounded and is extremely hurtful! The only thing we are guilty of as a team is underachieving which we all acknowledge both in the dressing room and publicly and will do our best to rectify.
‘I wish Claudio the very very best in whatever the future holds for him. Thank You Claudio for everything.’