Transfer Talk: Foxes ace Tielemans ponders options in window
Youri Tielemans looks poised to leave Leicester when the transfer window opens this summer.
The Belgian's deal runs out in 18 months and given his displays at the King Power Stadium, he is unlikely to have a shortage of suitors for his signature.
Ahead of the second leg of the Europa Conference League knockout round play-off clash against Randers this evening, we take a look at where the Foxes ace might head next.
Manchester United are in desperate need of reinforcements in the centre of the park — and have reportedly been considering a move for Tielemans.
The Red Devils have primarily been linked with a deeper, more combative breed of central midfielder as an upgrade on Fred and Scott McTominay, which Tielemans is not.
However, the seemingly imminent departure of Paul Pogba, who can leave for free at the end of this season, would also leave a creative void at Old Trafford that will need to be filled.
Another team to have been strongly linked with a move for Tielemans is Arsenal, who were keen to acquire a central midfielder in January.
With Mohamed Elneny’s contract due to expire this summer and none of the club’s loan contingent likely to return to the first-team fold, the Gunners look short of options in the middle ahead of next term.
Tielemans’ goalscoring prowess would certainly aid a side whose record of 36 goals in 23 Premier League games ranks just seventh in the league.
Liverpool are not short of bodies in central areas but could do with a more reliable presence — and perhaps a goal threat — in that position.
Captain Jordan Henderson plays virtually every game when fit and defensive midfielder Fabinho is equally indispensable. But there has been a great deal of chopping and changing alongside the pair.
Thiago and Naby Keita are immensely talented footballers but have both struggled with injury. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has suffered a similar fate, while James Milner is not getting any younger and the youthful duo of Harvey Elliott and Curtis Jones are exciting but still raw.
Then there is the fact that none of the current crop have been able to match Tielemans’ haul of six league goals in this or any of the last three seasons.
It is difficult to argue that the 47-cap international does not improve Jurgen Klopp’s squad.
Could he stay?
Following the Foxes’ 2-2 draw with West Ham earlier this month, Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers refuted claims that Tielemans had rejected a new contract from the club.
He said: "[Tielemans] hasn't declined [a contract offer]. For me his position is exactly the same as what it was.
"He's a fantastic player and there's been no movement whatsoever, he's a player who has continued to work and is working well.
"Until the last day he's here, whether that’s at the end of the contract or summer or beyond that, he will always give his best because he's a top professional and he showed his commitment [against West Ham].
"There's interest trying to be generated by other people."
Despite Rodgers' comments, there is little doubt that the Foxes will be making plans for life without their midfield maestro.
A move abroad?
A move away remains the most likely outcome for Tielemans and his options are not limited to clubs within the Premier League.
Real Madrid are believed to be interested in the Belgian, as Los Blancos make a concerted effort to bring down the age of their options in the middle. After all, Luka Modric, 36, and Toni Kroos, 32, are approaching the twilight of their careers.
Juventus have also been linked, with the Serie A giants in need of an injection of quality as they seek to reclaim their status as Italy’s most formidable club.