Leicester star told to ‘wait and see’ before committing to Man Utd

Joe Williams
Man Utd-linked Youri Tielemans wrestles Ademola Lookman

Belgium legend Philippe Albert reckons Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans should “wait and see” before jumping into a move to Man Utd.

Tielemans has been linked with a move to Man Utd, Liverpool and Arsenal as he fast approaches the final 12 months of his contract at Leicester, which expires in 2023.

The Foxes’ record signing, who joined from Monaco for around £35million in 2019 after an initial loan spell, has excelled under Brendan Rodgers and scored the winner against Chelsea last May as Leicester won the FA Cup for the first time.

The club have been in contract talks with the Belgium international for months but are yet to strike a deal and Rodgers hinted back in January that Tielemans could leave.

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Rodgers said at the time: “He 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.

“For players it’s about ambition, the challenge and sometimes it’s about a different environment. We have seen it before many times.

“Teams have won the Champions League and the player will move on. That’s the nature of it. For me, I can only worry about keeping improving him as a player, keeping him focused and letting everything else be taken care of.

“We have a close relationship, it’s really strong. I made a commitment to him when I first came in that we would improve him as a player and he believes in the environment.

“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.”

And former Newcastle United defender Albert – who played 41 times for Belgium – thinks Tielemans should think carefully about whether he wants to leave Leicester a few months before a World Cup.

“Last year, Youri had a much better season than now. And then, strangely enough, no one moved too much to buy out his contract,” Albert wrote for Le Soir.

“This time, he has a big downturn, as we saw again in Ireland and against Burkina Faso, but Arsenal and Manchester United are suddenly out of the woodwork.

“A nice compliment, of course, but I wonder if, in the context of a summer market that will resemble the winter one, with only three months to go before the World Cup, a transfer to a prestigious club would be appropriate.

“In any case, it would be a maximum risk in a context where, as I have just written, the Vanaken threat could become clearer in the national team. Wait and see as the English say.”