Leicester City look set to end their streak of one high-profile departure per summer with manager Brendan Rodgers declaring the club “don’t have to sell”. City have sold a big name in each of the past five years – with Harry Maguire and Ben Chilwell the two to leave under Rodgers – and have received fees that have allowed them to further develop their squad and rise the Premier League ranks. However, amid rumours surrounding the futures of Youri Tielemans and James Maddison, Rodgers has said his players want to stay put, while the message from the hierarchy is that funds do not need to be made through a City star leaving. Tielemans has been linked to Liverpool but has attracted interest from around Europe in the past, while Maddison, who missed Saturday’s game against QPR to attend the birth of his son, is a target for Arsenal.
Brendan Rodgers said: “In conversations with the club, we don’t have to sell. That’s something that’s been made clear. The players want to stay. It’s a really exciting time at the club. There’s lots of gossip and speculation around but I’m loving working with the guys here, they love being here, and we certainly have no need to sell. So I would suspect we’re looking to keep our best players.”
That does not mean there will be no departures at all from the King Power Stadium this summer. Rodgers likes a streamlined 25-man squad, and may have to inform players that their game-time will be limited if they stay. In that scenario, players may head for the exit.
Brendan Rodgers said: “There may be players that find they want more game-time, and then we have to look at that of course. Everyone’s back, they’re working hard. We’ve created a great environment at the club, so players want to be there, but naturally things sometimes can change, so we’ll look at that as it develops.”
Departures are likely to come in the midfield following the recruitment of Boubakary Soumare, and the return from loan of Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall, who Rodgers has confirmed will be in his 25-man squad this coming season. Dennis Praet, who struggled for game-time last season, particularly after recovering from a hamstring injury, is a candidate to go, as is Hamza Choudhury, who nearly departed for Newcastle in January.
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