Leicester City head coach Claude Puel is confident his club will be able to keep hold of England central defender Harry Maguire despite interest from Manchester United.
Maguire was one of England’s standout players as they reached the semi-finals of this summer’s World Cup and his displays are rumoured to have United willing to pay 65 million pounds ($85.5 million) for a player Leicester paid Hull City just $22 million a year ago, reports Xinhua news agency.
It would mean a major profit for Leicester, but Puel would rather keep hold of the 25-year-old. “I am confident about the presence of Harry for this season. He is a very good player for us,” he said in an interview with Sky Sports News on Monday.
Puel added that Maguire’s displays for his club last season meant he was “not surprised” by the defender’s performances in Russia.
“We saw his progress during the second half of the season. He was great and played very well. It was not a surprise to see him perform well at this level in the international game,” he said.
Maguire and Leicester City teammate Jamie Vardy are still on holiday after their World Cup exploits, but Puel admitted that with his side due to kick off the new season against Manchester United on August 10, he would like to have them back at work.
“He is a very good player — I wait for him with impatience because we need Harry and we need also Jamie because they are Leicester,” he said.
The coach highlighted the problems losing a key player would cause with the transfer window closing on August 9 rather than at the end of the month as it has done in previous years.
“To change the scene before the start of the season is not possible. He can continue to perform with Leicester and improve and that is the important thing always with a young player. To continue with us would be a fantastic thing for him and for us of course,” he concluded.