Emile Heskey accepts that heads may be turned at Leicester following the club’s failure to secure Champions League qualification, with Ben Chilwell among those generating exit talk.
The Foxes returned from lockdown third in the Premier League table, but an untimely wobble from Brendan Rodgers’ side saw them head into the final day needing a positive result against Manchester United in order to finish in the top four.
They ended up losing 2-0 at the King Power Stadium and will now have to make do with Thursday night football in the Europa League next season.
That is still some achievement for Leicester, but they had been hoping for more and have left themselves open to transfer raids.
Chelsea are being heavily linked with England left-back Chilwell, while James Maddison is said to have attracted interest from Manchester United. Caglar Soyuncu is another to have generated transfer rumours.
Heskey expects the Foxes to face a fight for their prized assets, but he thinks the club is under no pressure to sell and hopes key men can be persuaded to stay put.
The former Leicester striker told the PA News Agency: “They have got to be realistic. When a top-four club come calling certain people are going to have their heads turned, but we’re very strong as a club, they don’t need to sell or balance the books.
“There are aspirations for individual players, they will want to be playing at the highest level and that includes the Champions League.
“The recruitment at Leicester has been top notch, especially when it comes to spending the money made from the players they’ve sold.”
Heskey hopes that Rodgers can keep his squad intact and have a real go at chasing down Europa League glory in 2020-21.
The ex-England international added: “If you are going to go into a tournament, you’re going in wanting to win. If you’re not what’s the point? They have got more than enough to go in and put pressure on teams.
“Not many will want to come up against Leicester, with their values and players. There’s talent and no-one will want to come to the King Power.
“They’ve been a success. If you were to say at the beginning of the season Leicester would reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, semi-finals of the League Cup and finish in the top five, would you take that?
“It slipped away, look at the teams they lost to and should be beating, the draw at Watford, little things like that, but it’s a good season, someone was telling me we were in the top four since September.
“Brendan has been fantastic, he’s been a visionary in what we’ve seen from him.”