The Italian was sacked nine months after winning the Premier League title and, during an interview on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football, suggested someone behind the scenes could have been to blame.
That led many to speculate that Shakespeare – the former assistant who replaced him as manager – was the man responsible. But on the eve of their Champions League quarter-final first-leg against Atletico Madrid, Shakespeare stopped short of categorically denying he was involved in the sacking, instead insisting he can sleep easy at night.
“Free speech is there for anybody, I don’t have a problem with it,” he said.
Craig Shakespeare insists he had nothing to do with Claudio Ranieri's sacking
Ranieri suggested someone behind the scenes could have been to blame
“I’m quite comfortable with my own conscience, so I can’t do anything about that.
“I was at the Under-23s last night but I have been filled in about it [the interview with Ranieri.
“I have seen clips of it. I think Claudio was in good humour and came across as I know him, but from my first interview, I spoke to him and he thanked me for my time.
“I thanked him and there has never been any falling out. It’s football and I’m glad to see that he is enjoying his football again.”
Claudio Ranieri watches Chelsea training Fri, April 7, 2017
Claudio Ranieri was snapped watching Chelsea training this week!
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Claudio Ranieri dropped in to watch Chelsea train at Cobham this week
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“I think [in the interview] he said, ‘maybe’ [it was someone behind the scenes who pushed for Ranieri to be sacked], that’s the quote that I heard this morning. But my stance is still the same. We never had a falling out.
"I haven’t seen the interview live, but I think I have answered the question.
Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel added: “I haven’t seen his interview. I was out for dinner with family when the match was on. We have always had the utmost respect for Claudio and what he achieved was unbelievable.
“It was a shame how things ended but we now just want to save ourselves in the Champions League.”