Claudio Ranieri: Leicester boss wants Esteban Cambiasso return

Claudio Ranieri
Claudio Ranieri returns to England 11 years after leaving Chelsea

Leicester City have failed to elaborate on why Nigel Pearson was sacked, as Claudio Ranieri met the media for the first time as their new manager.

Ranieri, 63, was appointed by the Foxes last week, returning to England 11 years after leaving Chelsea.

When asked to clarify Pearson's sacking, chief executive Susan Whelan said it was needed "for the long-term objectives and vision of the owners".

Ranieri, meanwhile, said he has spoken to Esteban Cambiasso about a return.

The Argentine midfielder played a key role as Leicester won seven and drew one of their final 10 games last season to secure top-flight survival.

Ranieri said he has pleaded with Cambiasso, whom he has managed before, to "please come back". The 34-year-old's contract with the club expired last month.

While Ranieri spoke about the qualities he wants to bring to the club, Whelan said the "club is a better place for the contribution" former manager Pearson has made.

Pearson was involved in several high-profile incidents, including calling a journalist an "ostrich" and clashing with Crystal Palace's James McArthur.

In June, Pearson's son James was one of three players sacked by the club for their involvement in a racist sex tape, while on a tour in Thailand - home of the club's billionaire owners.

Ranieri managed Valencia, Parma, Juventus, Roma, Inter Milan and Monaco after leaving Chelsea in 2004 before taking over as Greece coach after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He was sacked four months later.

Speaking about his new job in the Premier League, the Italian said: "Everybody wants to win and we are ready to fight.

"That is important for me - fight in every match and for every ball until the end of the match."

Match of the Day host - and Leicester fan - Gary Lineker, and former Premier League manager Harry Redknapp were among those to question Ranieri's appointment.

But the Italian said: "I respect everybody but now my problem is not Lineker or Redknapp, my focus is on Leicester."

And defending his role with Greece, he said: "I wanted to build something but it's difficult to build on the sand."

In May 2014, Leicester's owners said they want a top-five finish in the Premier League within three years and were willing to spend £180m to get there.