Esteban Cambiasso rejects new Leicester City contract offer after 'just 24 hours'

Claudio Ranieri delivered an early blow into his tenure in the East Midlands

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The Independent Football

Esteban Cambiasso has announced he will not be rejoining Leicester City for the upcoming Premier League season.

The 34-year-old posted on his official Facebook page this evening to thank supporters of the East Midlands club and to insist that his decision comes just 24 hours after receiving a contract offer.

Cambiasso became a cult icon with the Leicester faithful after inspiring them to one of the greatest escapes from relegation in the top flight's recent history.

The sudden news will come as a blow to new manager Claudio Ranieri who had been banking on his former Inter Milan captain staying to ease his transition at his new club. Leicester have since expressed their 'sincerest thanks to Esteban for his exceptional contribution during the 2014/15 season'.

Cambiasso said: "I have taken this decision only 24 hours after receiving the proposal from Leicester because I want to give the club as much time as possible to find an alternative.

"I would like to thanks all the fans who last season made me feel proud to be part of a club with an unforgettable spirit and energy.

Esteban Cambiasso introduced himself to Leicester fans with a goal against Manchester United on his home debut

"And a very special thanks to all my team mates, staff and every people of the club, with whom I have lived one of the most important years of my career, crowned with the remaining EPL status.

"Many thanks to everyone, keeping you all for ever in my heart."

The Argentine talisman has been considering his options after the shock dismissal of Nigel Pearson at the King Power Stadium and new boss Ranieri issued an impassioned plea to him to stay yesterday (Monday) afternoon.

“I have spoken to him," the Italian said. "I know him from Inter, I coached him there. I said to him: ‘I need you, everybody loves you in Leicester, please come back.’

"He told me he wants to wait to look at all the opportunities offered to him and then he will choose but we need ‘yes’ or ‘no’ because he is a team leader and if he doesn’t come I need another team leader. We don’t start the season without a player like him.”

Cambiasso scored 5 times for the Foxes in 31 appearances and fulfilled his wish to play in Europe's three most competitive leagues - the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga.