Brendan Rodgers has handed Manchester United encouragement in their hunt for Paul Pogba’s replacement. The Leicester City manager has admitted fears that Youri Tielemans could leave the club this summer, the same transfer window Pogba is set to depart Old Trafford on a free transfer.
Tielemans will enter the final 12 months of his Leicester contract in July, and there’s currently no sign of an extension.
Pogba seems destined to leave United six years after re-joining, which should prompt the club to move for a creative replacement on top of a defensive midfielder.
The Red Devils have been linked with Tielemans since he was a teenager at Anderlecht, and that interest has unlikely faded whilst his stock has soared in France and England.
Fabrizio Romano has confirmed via his Twitch that the 24-year-old playmaker is in United’s sights ahead of their bid to fill a Pogba-sized void later this year.
Rodgers admits he understands if Tielemans was considering a new challenge and claims Leicester would be ready to replace him if he departs this summer.
He said: “You always have to [plan for life without players], that is key. You always have to be looking ahead, that’s important.
“Youri is at an age and at a stage in his contract where he has to ensure he looks at every option. I would love it to be here at Leicester, that is natural, but I understand it’s a very short career.
“Once the player is committed, focused and professional, it’s never a worry for me. With Youri, you can see his joy of being here, he loves being here, and you have to respect these guys’ careers are short.
“If we are going to lose one we have to be ready for the next one to come in.”
And Tielemans himself has been coy on staying at Leicester, suggesting he’s ‘open’ to a move away if he decides against signing a new contract.
“There is no update really. I’m open to everything, and the transfer market has just closed, so I just try to keep as many options as I can open,” Tielemans explained last summer.
“As long as I’m here, I’m going to give everything to the club. I’ve already done so, but I’m going to give even more, and the contract situation is just something that’s going on in football.
“It’s just a normal situation. They [my agent and the club] are talking. I’m not saying I’m going to sign, but I’m not saying I’m not going to sign.”