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Ranieri lets slip Paredes interest, as Spalletti digs in

Amid reports of growing interest from Leicester City, manager Claudio Ranieri admits Roma midfielder Leandro Paredes is someone he would like to sign.

The Italian was asked about the club's offers for Paredes, as well interest in Santos' Gabriel Barbosa as he looks to bolster his Premier League-winning side.

When further pressed, Ranieri suggested there might be more to it than mere speculation.

"Every day they link us with a new player. That's what the transfer window does," he told Corriere dello Sport

"You're right, I didn't deny it. He's a player I like."

While it does not strictly mean Leicester are pursuing Paredes in the transfer market, despite reports of a £18million offer, the interest is there.

The interest in Paredes is also enough for Roma coach Luciano Spalletti to raise the prospect of him leaving, although he expects the Argentine to stay.

"Paredes is a strong player in our opinion and we want to use him, but sometimes in a transfer market like this you can use strong players to fund the transfer market, so that affects everyone," he said.

"It's like that for Napoli too, who wanted to keep [Gonzalo] Higuain.

"For that reason we can't say what our thinking is absolutely, because there are so many things to be taken into account, and that doesn't just apply to Paredes.

"For me, he's a good player and he'll stay at Roma."

Last season, the 22-year-old Paredes was loaned to Empoli from Roma to gain more experience playing first-team football.

Playing 33 matches as Empoli respectably finished mid-table, Paredes was a key figure, and has clearly made an impression on the Premier League champions.