Leicester City

Leicester City

Premier League • England

Brendan Rodgers clarifies Youri Tielemans contract situation; left ‘deflated’ by draw

Brendan Rodgers, Youri Tielemans of Leicester

Brendan Rodgers has given another update on the future of influential Leicester midfielder Youri Tielemans, following the Foxes’ 2-2 draw with West Ham.

Earlier on Sunday, the manager admitted rival English clubs would be planning to bid for Tielemans as his contract expires in 2023. Rodgers also claimed he is a ‘realist’ and that Leicester should prepare for the Belgian to potentially depart.

Tielemans was in from the start as Leicester hosted West Ham at the King Power on Sunday afternoon.

But it was a nightmare start for the home side as Jarrod Bowen struck in the 10th minute. He raced onto a looping Issa Diop ball before finishing confidently past Kasper Schmeichel.

Leicester had a great chance to level the score when Aaron Cresswell handled in the box. The referee pointed to the spot and Tielemans stepped up to beat Lukasz Fabianski from 12 yards.

The Foxes took the lead after the interval as Ricardo Pereira headed a Harvey Barnes cross into the top corner.

Rodgers’ team looked set to gain all three points heading into stoppage time. However, their frustrations continued as Craig Dawson connected with a late Bowen corner to make it 2-2. Leicester complained of a handball from Dawson but the goal stood.

Leicester showed signs of old form – Brendan Rodgers

During a post-match interview with Sky Sports (via BBC Sport), Rodgers said: “We have had a few of them lately, deflating for the players. Second half we were outstanding and first half West Ham were better. Second half was like watching us of old, speed of the game and chances.

“That is seven points dropped in our last three games from good positions, it is disappointing.

“There was anxiety there but possession is a mantra, you have to take the ball and be brave. Naturally, when you are inconsistent the crowd will be edgy. Second half we got up the pitch.”

On 24-year-old Tielemans, Rodgers added: “Firstly he has not declined (a new contract). I have seen stories but the position is exactly the same. He is a fantastic player and there has been no movement.

Frenkie de Jong will stay at Barcelona despite Manchester City and Chelsea interest

Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong will stay at Barca this summer despite premier league clubs Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City being interested

“He has worked well and until his last days here, he will always give his best. He is a top professional and you saw his commitment today.”

Returning to the wider team performance, Brendan Rodgers continued:”We have closed out the game really well, made subs to see the game through. Kasper Schmeichel did not have too much to do today so from the static position, you have the height and numbers, just go deal with it.

“Unfortunately the last few games we have conceded late here. I was much happier with the mentality and intensity of the team, especially in the second half.”

Where next for Declan Rice? Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal?

Draw feels like a loss, says Leicester star

Full-back Ricardo Pereira added:”It’s difficult when you start losing the game then come back before half-time. Then we had a great second half.

“I don’t remember Kasper working in the second half and then we suffer a goal at the end. It was like we lost the game.

“It’s tough. We know we have had difficulties with set pieces, we are aware of that. We knew we needed to concentrate more and we have to have to do better.”

READ MORE: Real Madrid ready to deliver hammer blow to Conte and Tottenham – Paper Talk