Brendan Rodgers hopes Youri Tielemans will prolong stay with Leicester

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Boss Brendan Rodgers wants to keep Youri Tielemans at Leicester long-term but accepts the club must come first.

The midfielder is out of contract in the summer and has been linked with a free transfer to Arsenal.

He is able to talk to foreign clubs in the new year, with Leicester unable to agree a new deal despite opening talks over 12 months ago.

Rodgers is eager for the Belgium international to stay beyond January and wants to avoid selling him but concedes there is a business to consider.

“It’s not something we are thinking of and not anything the club have said we need to do. We don’t want to be offloading our best players, that’s for sure,” he said, ahead of Saturday’s visit of Manchester City.

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“So there has been no hint or indication we need to generate money and move him on. But, of course, there’s a business side to the club that they will look at.

“We had a number of long chats in the summer. There is clearly no doubt even a young guy who is focused like Youri and very professional, it can have an impact.

“But he has been fully focused. He doesn’t let that affect him. He is a top-class professional, he sees the game how I see it.

“On the field he understands what is happening within the game and that’s all he can do – give his very best – and his recent performances have been excellent.

“We have a number of players out of contract come the end of the season. My focus has been on working with him and getting out of the situation we are in. So everything else is not really spoken about from my perspective.”

Leicester sit 17th, two points above the relegation zone, after last week’s 4-0 win at Wolves lifted them off the bottom, with Tielemans’ stunning goal opening the scoring.

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Rodgers has been adamant for most of the year the squad needed to be refreshed, but he was only able to bring in Wout Faes to replace Wesley Fofana after his £70million move to Chelsea and hopes to be able to do more January deals.

He said: “I’m still waiting (to hear) but we’re hopeful we can do some business. That would be great, it doesn’t stop us planning or looking at targets in areas that we need to improve on.”

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