Puel Responds To Tielemans Rumors



GOAL - Robert O'Connor


Leicester City boss Claude Puel has reaffirmed his admiration for Monaco’s Belgium international midfielder Youri Tielemans.

The Foxes have been heavily linked with Tielemans in recent weeks, with some reports suggesting a deal could be about to be done for around £20 million ($26m).

The latest speculation has suggested the potential for a swap deal to be reached with Monaco involving Portuguese midfielder Adrien Silva, as Puel looks to reshuffle his pack for the second half of the season.

But the manager remained tight-lipped when quizzed on his transfer targets for January, and suggested he was happy with his squad as the transfer window moves into its final few days.  

“For me, it's just speculation,” Puel told the Leicester Mercury.

“We have a squad and we have players with desire. It's normal for another player to wish for game-time and to play football, but it's difficult, we have to manage the balance in the squad and to keep opportunities and options.

“He (Tielemans) is a good player with good attributes but I have Adrien (Silva) with these attributes, a little different, but with the possibility to play box to box and I’m happy with Adrien.”

Tielemans, who was part of the Belgium squad which reached the World Cup semi-final in Russia in the summer, has been linked with Manchester United in the past, while there are also reports that Tottenham have made a January enquiry.

The 21-year-old, who moved to Stade Louis II from Anderlecht in 2017, has been a fixture in a struggling Monaco side this season, scoring five goals in Ligue 1.

Meanwhile, Puel is not ruling out the prospect of departures from Leicester before the transfer deadline on Thursday.

Several City players have been linked with loan moves away, with Andy King one name who has been talked about in the context of a possible switch to Nottingham Forest, West Bromwich Albion, Swansea City or Wigan Athletic.

“We have a good balance in the team without a lot of players with the possibility to give more game-time,” said Puel.

“We have one or two situations, to see if perhaps for a loan, to get the game-time for players. It’s just my desire and I hope we can give them this opportunity, it’s important for their development and to improve different aspects.”