Leicester news: Maresca will consider all its options – Balague

Image source, Getty Images

  • Author, Guillem Balague
  • Role, BBC sports columnist

In February, Leicester City lost 3-1 away to Leeds, reducing what was a 17-point lead at the top of the Championship to just six.

Manager Enzo Maresca walked into the dressing room and said just one thing: “We will finish ahead of Leeds.”

A message deliberately timed and measured with the aim of spreading trust.

Three months later, after just one season in the Championship wilderness and in his first full campaign as senior football’s number one, Maresca and Leicester are back in the big time as champions.

But there are clouds on the horizon. Leicester’s fate could be determined as much by decisions made off the field as those made on it.

The euphoria created by the promotion cannot mask the fact that all is not well.

The news that Leicester are facing possible Financial Fair Play issues is something Maresca only became aware of after the start of the season.

It is fallacious to imagine that the club knew nothing of the potential problems they could face and that not informing their Italian manager sooner is not a good idea.

This is evidenced by the very unsatisfactory transfer window in January, including two transactions. Cesare Casadei was an integral part of Maresca’s plans after signing him on loan from Chelsea at the start of the season. Then Chelsea recalled him during the winter window.

Inter Milan’s Stefano Sensi had come to the UK to help finalize the deal once the two clubs had negotiated the player’s fee. Suddenly everything fell apart due to concerns over the club’s FFP position.

To say Maresca was unimpressed on both occasions would be an understatement.

Surviving in the top flight will be difficult enough, even without the handicap of having to start next season with a points deduction.

Although Leicester’s fate is not yet fully known, one thing is certain: Maresca has no plans to change the way he plays in the Premier League.

He will also not want to make some of the mistakes Vincent Kompany made at Burnley, believing most of his promoted side could sustain them. Changes to the Leicester squad are needed.

Maresca and her family are comfortable in Leicester. Her children have remained in England for most of their lives and any change of location always brings with it a degree of personal drama. But the Italian coach does not imagine himself having a long managerial career, so each step must be calculated carefully.

It makes sense that Maresca, with offers from European Cup winners and Spanish and Italian teams, and interest from English clubs, would consider all its options after listening to President Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha during the break in Monaco on the Thai businessman’s yacht.