Ah, transfer season. The time of year when everyone has an opinion, and many publications are happy to print those opinions with misleading headlines to get your hard-earned clicks (that’s how the internet works, right?).
This time, everyone’s least favorite website, the Liverpool Echo, ran a piece titled “Brendan Rodgers warned he can’t stop Liverpool signing Youri Tielemans”. This stemmed from an interview Kevin Phillips did with Football Insider about the Belgian midfielder. Phillips, of course, spent a year playing for Leicester City, and then coached at the club for a year before leaving in 2015. It goes without saying the Phillips never overlapped with Tielemans, or Brendan Rodgers for that matter, so of course he would be interviewed on the topic.
“I think everyone is available for the right price,” Phillips told Dylan Childs, a correspondent for the aforementioned Football Insider. “I don’t think Brendan Rodgers would want Tielemans to go but I think when Liverpool come knocking at your door and speak to your agent, then the player is going to listen and is probably going to want to go. Especially now that Leicester won’t be getting Champions League football next year after just missing out while Liverpool have, that’s a big, big draw for any player. So if Liverpool were to make enquiries and make an offer then it could be one of those where it’s hard to stop the player going and turn the deal down, so it will be an interesting one.”
Phillips comments are all perfectly logical, of course. Georginio Wijnaldum elected not to sign a new contract that Liverpool had offered, so the Reds are rumored to be in the market for a midfielder. Youri Tielemans has impressed in his two and a half seasons at Leicester City. The 24 year old Belgian has shown impressive technical ability and vision to go along with a strong engine, and has been integral to the success of Brendan Rodgers side. He has been linked with the Reds as one of their transfer targets.
Of course, this all fails to take into account the large fee that Tieleman’s would commend, especially to a team that the Foxes will be competing against for a spot in the top four. Leicester City are said to be asking for £70 million for Tielemans, who has a contract running through 2023. While Tielemans would likely be interested in joining Liverpool, it seems unlikely that Michael Edwards will see value in moving for the player when there are plenty of talented undervalued players out there.