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Rodgers hopes to keep Belgian Tielemans at Leicester

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers said he would love to keep Belgium international Youri Tielemans at the Premier League side, but understands players have short careers and might want fresh challenges.

Leicester signed Tielemans from Ligue 1 side AS Monaco in 2019 after an impressive loan spell. The 24-year-old scored the winning goal in their FA Cup triumph in May last year.

The midfielder, whose contract runs until June 2023, has been linked by the British media with a switch to Leicester's Premier League rivals Arsenal.

"He's at an age and at a stage in his contract where he has to ensure he looks at every option," Rodgers told reporters ahead of Saturday's league match with Burnley.

"I'd love it to be here at Leicester, that's 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."

Rodgers said he enjoyed a close relationship with Tielemans, who has six goals and three assists across all competitions this season.

"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," Rodgers said.

"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... you have to respect these guys' careers are short."

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru: Editing by Neil Fullick)

Source: Reuters

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