Before Leicester City’s Premier League winning heroes had even popped the corks on their celebratory champagne, talk of imminent exits and big-money summer moves had already begun.
In fact, there has been almost the same level of focus on how Claudio Ranieri’s history-making squad will be dismantled over the coming months as that on quite how they achieved the unprecedented title win.
Though to be expected that speculation would arise linking chief instigators Riyad Mahrez, N’Golo Kante and Jamie Vardy with moves to some of England and Europe’s biggest clubs, it sums up the nature of modern football that instant belief is that they will head straight for supposedly ‘bigger and better’ things.
Perhaps it’s an understandable mind-set with the football world having seen how Atletico Madrid, and to a degree, Borussia Dortmund’s successful teams had key personnel ripped away after their achievements.
But with the Premier League’s financial rewards far greater than their La Liga and Bundesliga counterparts – Leicester earned an incredible £93.2million in prize money compared to Atletico’s measly £32.2 for winning La Liga in 2014 – the Foxes are better prepared to knock-back such advances.
So why, in the aftermath of what is undoubtedly English footballs greatest ever triumph and at this historic of all times, would Leicester’s Premier League conquerors leave for pastures new?
Ranieri’s men are currently enjoying the best, most amazing and rewarding spell of their careers, with some reaching heights they may never achieve again during their short time as professional footballers.
Each and every player is enjoying the prestigious and exclusive league winner status that has taken Leicester to the highest level of European football for the very first time, in the Champions League stage.
Having achieved what they have in the world’s most competitive league, it’s hard to believe that the title-winning group wouldn’t want to at least attempt to replicate their successes in European competition against football elite on some of the most historic stages.
And though the chances of doing so – and beating Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Juventus & co. to glory – border on impossible even by Leicester’s standards, enjoying the journey and unity once more with teammates that earned a place on such a stage is surely worth more than taking advantage of stock being high.
Even the pre-season tour – before the defence of the Premier League crown and the iconic Champions League anthem rings around the King Power Stadium – is worth hanging around for.
It’s certainly a rarity that the Foxes will enjoy glamorous games they will this summer against Barcelona in Los Angeles, Paris Saint Germain and Celtic in the money-spinning International Champions Cup.
The least the humble Ranieri and his hard-working, record-breaking players deserve is the chance to enjoy the fruits of their incredible work last season – even if a trip to Oxford United’s three-sided Kassam Stadium is, admittedly, less inspiring.
As alluded to above, potential fears of some of those history-makers could be on the need to cash in and move while they’re in demand and transfers are available, but there is no reason for those of whom this could apply to worry.
That’s because next season is now something of a free hit for Leicester.
No one expects Ranieri’s side to defend the title – not even the mastermind behind it himself having already declared the target for his team next season is a top-10 finish.
So the squad have little to lose and everything to gain in staying and trying to produce the unthinkable again.
Even if they don’t hit the same heights and the drop off fans around the globe expect does indeed transpire, their heroics of 2015/16 will in absolutely no way be overlooked having sustained such an incredible run over more than just a short period – showing class and not just a purple patch of form.
After such an unbelievable achievement, there will naturally come a time that this historic Leicester squad is broken up, when fortunes drop off and big-money moves become that little bit more tempting.
But it is crazy to think that it would be during this summer with there no reason to leave the King Power Stadium – home of the Premier League champions.