Leicester news: Maresca will consider all his options – Balague

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  • Author, Guillem Balague
  • Role, BBC Sport columnist

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

Manager Enzo Maresca came into the dressing room and said only one thing: “We will finish before Leeds.”

A deliberately measured message aimed at spreading confidence.

Three months later, after just one season in the Championship wilderness and his first full campaign as number one in senior football, 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 pitch as on it.

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

The news that Leicester are facing potential financial fair play issues is something Maresca only became aware of after the start of the season.

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

This is evidenced by the extremely unsatisfactory January transfer window involving two deals in particular. Cesare Casadei was very much in Maresca’s plans after signing him on loan from Chelsea at the start of the season. Then Chelsea called him up in the winter window.

Inter Milan’s Stefano Sensi had come to the UK to help complete the deal after the two clubs negotiated a fee for the player. Suddenly it all fell apart due to concerns over the club’s FFP status.

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

Surviving in the top flight will be tough enough even without the handicap of starting next season with a points deduction.

Although Leicester’s fortunes are not yet fully known, the one thing that is certain is that Maresca has no intention of changing his playing style for the Premier League.

He will also not want to make some of the mistakes Vincent Kompany made at Burnley, believing most of his promoted squad could keep up. Changes are needed in Leicester’s squad.

Maresca and his family are comfortable in Leicester. His children have remained in England most of their lives and any change of location always brings with it a degree of personal drama. But the Italian coach does not see himself having a long career in management, so every step along the way must be carefully calculated.

It makes sense that Maresca, with offers from the European Cup winners and the Spanish and Italian sides, and interest from English clubs, will consider all his options after listening to chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha during the Monaco break on the man’s yacht Thai business.

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