Manchester United have been linked with an audacious swoop for Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans.
The Belgian joined the Midlands club on loan from Monaco in 2019 and proved to be such a hit that he was signed that summer for around £35m.
Tielemans established himself as key player in Brendan Rogers’ side last season and lived up to his burgeoning reputation by scoring a memorable winning goal in the FA Cup Final win over Chelsea.
It was a fitting end to an excellent campaign for the midfielder, who scored six goals and provided four assists over thirty-eight games. He also swept the board at Leicester City’s annual awards ceremony, being named Player of the Season by both teammates and fans alike.
However, the Foxes narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification on the final day, meaning the midfielder’s ambition to play at the highest level could be tested by reputed interest from Premier League rivals United and Liverpool.
Such is Tielemans current status that a putative fee of £56m would be sure to guarantee a host of suitors.
Although City boss Rogers would be extremely reluctant to lose his star performer, Tielemans’ contract expires in 2023, making this summer the best opportunity to recoup a sizeable fee for his services.
Back in March, an extended stay seemed the likeliest outcome, as he spoke in glowing terms about his time at the King Power Stadium, saying “It’s going really well and I’m really having fun. I feel very comfortable in the team. They welcomed me with open arms.”
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is expected to strengthen his squad over the summer, with various reports suggesting he’s looking for reinforcements in defence, midfield and attack.
Although speculation has tended to link United with defensive specialists such as West Ham’s Declan Rice, Tielemans is regarded as one of the best box-to-box midfielders in the country.
Indeed Solskjaer himself has first-hand experience of Tielemans’ undoubted quality, as the midfielder capped a classy all-round display with the decisive goal in the FA Cup semi-final between the two sides back in April.
Solskjaer would, however, have competition for the player’s signature, with bitter rivals Liverpool also said to be keen. The Anfield side are thought to view the midfield maestro as an ideal replacement for the departing Gini Wijnaldum and would rival United for his signature – should he continue to delay over a new contract.