Leicester City interim manager Craig Shakespeare has refused to confirm his interest in succeeding Claudio Ranieri on a long-term basis after the club's fairytale run in the Champions League was ended by Atletico Madrid. The former England assistant took over from the Italian Premier League winner in February and was later installed until the end of the campaign.
The Foxes' season is all but over after they were ousted from Europe's premier club competition by 2014 and 2016 runners-up Atletico. Leading 1-0 from the first leg, Saul Niguez's header left the champions needing three to progress. Jamie Vardy equalised on the night in the second half but a flurry of missed chances saw the La Liga side progress to their third semi-final in four years.
Attention can now turn to next season when Leicester will hope to build on their maiden campaign in the Champions League. Shakespeare has guided the club into the last 16 and away from relegation danger in the top flight yet he is unwilling to affirm any interest in the job on a full-time basis.
"It is not in my hands," he told reporters. "It is in the club's hands. I have said on many occasions that I will sit down at the end of the season. I am more than happy to sit down before that if the time arises. My contract says until the end of the season. I have enjoyed the Champions League.
"You're pitting your wits against one of the best managers in the world and one of the best sides in the world. As an experience it has been really, really good. Now is a time to reflect and at the end of the season I'll be able to reflect on my own performance."
Now out of Europe, Leicester still need six points to guarentee survival. Their next game comes against Arsenal on 26 March, a match they will hope captain Wes Morgan will be available for after he was unable to complete the second half against Atletico.
Morgan started for the first time in a month following a back injury but gingerly limped from the field in the latter stages - raising fears he may have suffered a recurrence of the blow which had forced him to miss the last six games. But Shakespeare is hopeful the skipper can face Arsenal next week.
"I'm thinking it is just cramp," he explained. "He hasn't trained a lot in the last month. He was 50-50 and it was more or less in the last three days when he was included in training. It was a big ask for him to play a game of this magnitude but I thought he was excellent. I think it is cramp. Hopefully it is no more but I've only just seen him briefly at the end. I am going to wait for more of a heads up from the physios."