Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has thrown down the gauntlet to fellow Premier League contenders and challenged them to turn their big-spending summers into a title charge.
Defending champions Leicester have not been shy in bolstering their squad with the signing of six players, including a club-record outlay of £16m for forward Ahmed Musa from CSKA Moscow.
The likes of Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have all invested heavily in a bid to reassert themselves as a Premier League force, and Ranieri insists those sides have no other choice but to deliver.
“We can’t repeat it, of course we try and we defend very strongly our trophy but there are big teams now that last season, I don’t know why, made mistakes and now they have to win because they are used to winning and have spent a lot of money,” said Ranieri, who has signed a new four-year contract at the King Power Stadium.
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic, meanwhile, insists the club’s retention of former Marseille playmaker Dimitri Payet is a statement of intent as the Hammers bid to gatecrash the league’s top six.
“West Ham was always labelled as a club that has to sell its best players, be it Frank Lampard, Rio Ferdinand or whoever,” said Bilic. “But we have kept Dimi, and we have shown to everyone that the club is thinking seriously.”