Leicester City’s hopes of tying down star midfielder Youri Tielemans to a new contract may have just taken a significant blow.
The technically gifted 24-year-old has entered the final two years of his current deal with the Midlands outfit, and it was previously reported that he had entered negotiations over potentially extending his stay.
Renowned journalist and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has provided an update on the situation, relaying Tieleman’s response during an interview with Sky Sports.
He tweeted: “Youri Tielemans to Sky on his future: ‘I’m open to everything. The transfer market has just closed, but I want to keep as many options as I can open. We will see what happens.’ #LCFC New contract proposal on the table for months… but also many clubs interested for June 2022.”
Romano recently outlined the list of Tielemans’ potential suitors, illustrating the level of current interest in the highly-rated Belgium international.
“I am told that he is on many top clubs’ list. Real Madrid have his name in mind for the future, Barcelona the same,” he revealed on his YouTube channel (as relayed by the Leicester Mercury).
“In England, many clubs are interested. Manchester United have to decide on Paul Pogba, but Tielemans is one to watch for the future for Manchester United.
Romano concluded: “Leicester are very good in their strategy. They said no over James Maddison and said no for Tielemans. They always protect their best players. It will not be easy to sign him because Leicester will put a big price on this player.”
Liverpool were also thought to be interested in securing the 24-year-old’s services over the summer, although no formal offer materialised, and now a selection of European football’s heavyweights appear to have moved to the front of the queue for the midfield maestro.
The Foxes moved away from their usual strategy of selling one key player each summer in the previous window, but they may be forced to part way with Tielemans in 12 months’ time or else risk losing him on a free transfer.
It’s a development which may be rather worrying for Leicester supporters, given the Belgian’s heroics for Brendan Rodgers’ side during his time at the King Power Stadium.