EPL

Leicester City boss Rodgers rules out January sales

By Sports Desk December 12, 2019

Brendan Rodgers has categorically ruled out selling any of his Leicester City players in the upcoming transfer window.

Leicester are soaring in second place, six points ahead of Manchester City – whose title defence looks in tatters – though eight behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.

The Foxes, champions under Claudio Ranieri in 2015-16, face both City and Liverpool in the space of two games across the festive period.

Left-back Ben Chilwell has been linked with a January move to Chelsea, who will be able to sign players next month after their transfer ban was lifted, while centre-back Caglar Soyuncu is reportedly a target for City.

However, Rodgers has moved to quash any rumours, insisting Leicester have no intention to sell in January.

"There will be no one leaving in January. Categorically," Rodgers told a news conference ahead of Saturday's contest with lowly Norwich City.

"I'm sure if we speak [to the hierarchy], they will have the same message. I speak regularly with Jon [Rudkin, director of football] and Top [Khun Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, chairman].

"It's very clear we want to keep this squad together. We want to ensure they stay around beyond January."

James Maddison is another player rumoured to be interesting one of the Premier League's biggest clubs, with Manchester United reportedly keen on the playmaker, who has scored five goals and provided three assists in the league so far this season.

Rodgers, though, does not believe the speculation over Maddison's future will impact the 23-year-old.

"It's the nature of the game," said Rodgers. "When you're doing well, there will always be speculation around you and James and one or two of the boys, they understand that.

"He's been brilliant. He's started the season very well, he's been very efficient and very productive. And he's getting better. He's a bright young player and he’s got a bright future."

Related items

  • Dani Osvaldo plays first match in four years after returning to football Dani Osvaldo plays first match in four years after returning to football

    Dani Osvaldo played his first match in four years as the former Inter and Roma striker came out of retirement for Argentine side Banfield.

    Ex-Italy international Osvaldo last played for powerhouse Boca Juniors before quitting football in 2016 to pursue his passion for music.

    Osvaldo, however, traded his guitar for football boots in January and the 34-year-old made his stunning return on Sunday.

    The veteran – who was released by Boca for reportedly smoking a cigarette in the dressing room – came off the bench with 16 minutes remaining as visiting Banfield lost 1-0 to River Plate in Buenos Aires, where he was whistled and jeered.

    Osvaldo almost capped his remarkable comeback with a goal – an audacious long-range chip leaving River goalkeeper Franco Armani scrambling as the ball sailed just over the crossbar.

    "I am very happy, in Banfield they treat me very well and make me feel important," Osvaldo said post-match.

    "Physically I felt good. I really wanted to play again, I'm happy for that."

    Banfield are 16th in the 24-team Superliga, nine points outside of the Copa Libertadores places and 17 adrift of leaders River.

  • We have a similar story – Klopp full of respect for Atletico boss Simeone We have a similar story – Klopp full of respect for Atletico boss Simeone

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp spoke of his respect for Diego Simeone ahead of a trip to the Wanda Metropolitano, saying he had a similar story to the Atletico Madrid head coach.

    The Premier League leaders visit Atletico in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.

    Liverpool return to the scene of their victory in last year's final, and they are preparing to face an Atletico side that are struggling.

    But Klopp remains wary of Simeone and Atletico, who have just one win from their past seven games in all competitions.

    "Their goal difference [in LaLiga] is they have scored only 25 which is not too many, but have conceded only 17, which is low," he told UK newspapers.

    "They have had massive injury problems in recent weeks, a lot of strikers missing. But [Alvaro] Morata was on the bench [against Valencia on Friday], I've heard [Diego] Costa is back in training and Joao Felix is available I'm pretty sure.

    "If somebody can play for a result, it's Atletico. Mr Simeone, who I respect a lot, he tries everything.

    "We have a similar story a little bit. We tried a lot and didn't win, but we still tried. I like that. He is so competitive – wow! Actually, we have a good relationship but I'm pretty sure he will forget that on the touchline because he is so animated."

    While facing Atletico away shapes as being tricky, the Wanda Metropolitano will bring back happy memories for Liverpool after their win over Tottenham in last year's final.

    But Klopp said his side – who are 25 points clear atop the Premier League – were focused on their task.

    "We know that it's just a stadium, but it's a positive emotion that we have when we think about that stadium," he said.

    "It was one of our greatest nights and I'm pretty sure that when the boys will go in they will see it.

    "But we are not going there for a pilgrimage. For sure not. We have had enough time to let these things settle."

  • 'Paul is our player and not Mino's' – Solskjaer addresses Pogba speculation after Raiola comments 'Paul is our player and not Mino's' – Solskjaer addresses Pogba speculation after Raiola comments

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer warned that Paul Pogba belongs to Manchester United and not outspoken agent Mino Raiola amid ongoing doubts over the star's future at Old Trafford.

    Raiola cast fresh doubts over Pogba – who is recovering from an ankle injury – on Thursday when he said the United midfielder "would not mind" returning to Juventus as "Italy is like home".

    Pogba left United for Juve in 2012 but the 26-year-old was prised back to Old Trafford in 2016 for a then-world record transfer fee of €105million (£89.3m).

    LaLiga giants Real Madrid have also been linked to Pogba but United manager Solskjaer said: "I've not spoken to Mino that is for sure. And, no, I haven't sat down and told Paul to tell Mino what he should say. Paul is our player and not Mino's."

    Asked if he could conclusively say Pogba will play for United again this season, Solskjaer replied: "Well of course, I'd like to say that. As soon as he gets fit he'll be good enough to play for the team and I'm sure Paul's desperate to play for us again."

    It has been an injury-ravaged season for Pogba, who has started just five Premier League matches this term and made only seven appearances in total.

    Pogba – who did not travel to Spain with his team-mates during the break – has only managed eight games across all competitions for United, who languish eighth in the Premier League after 25 rounds.

    Pressed on whether it has been a "disastrous" season for Pogba, Solskjaer – speaking ahead of Monday's trip to Chelsea – told reporters: "You're not going to get that headline from me.

    "As a player, the last thing you want to be is injured, and not being able to contribute to your team. Paul's a footballer and he wants to play football. He knows he has to work hard now to get back to his best.

    "He's been out for so long now, it's a challenge for him as well to get back into shape. I've been injured for a long, long time myself, it's a difficult period of your career, but it's part and parcel of being a player.

    "He's taken off his cast, so when he comes back here we'll integrate him with us. Hopefully soon. He's started running on the treadmill now, so he's getting closer. It's been a long haul, this, so hopefully we'll see him back soon."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.