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Maguire transfer speculation welcomed by Puel

Harry Maguire Leicester City and England defender Harry Maguire (source: Getty Images)

Leicester City manager Claude Puel believes speculation linking Harry Maguire with a move away from the club is to be welcomed.

Manchester City are reportedly considering a £50million bid for the centre-back, who joined Leicester from Hull City last June for an undisclosed fee reported to be £17m.

Maguire’s powerful performances have since earned the defender his first England caps, but Puel is unconcerned about ongoing rumours surrounding the 24-year-old.

“I think it is a good thing to have some players like that with speculation in the transfer window,” Puel told reporters on Thursday. “This shows we have a good player. That is a good thing.

“He is a young player who signed only this season for us. He has improved and he continues his hard work in the training sessions. He needs to continue this work with us.”

Nigeria coach Gernot Rohr has told Foxes forwards Kelechi Iheanacho and Ahmed Musa that they have to be playing to be taken to the World Cup.

Iheanacho has yet to score a Premier League goal since joining Leicester from Manchester City in August, while Musa has not appeared in the league this season.

And Puel, whose side travel to Chelsea in the Premier League on Saturday, accepts he may allow fringe players to leave during the January transfer window.

“We will see for some players if they need or want more game time,” Puel said. “I think it is important to get a good balance in the squad.

“It is a question of respect and to keep them with a good attitude and with good ambition in the squad.

“Iheanacho is a young player, he signed this season with us and we have to develop him and I hope he can have more game time in the second part of the season.”

Riyad Mahrez, a reported target for Liverpool and Arsenal, continues to be linked with a transfer away from Leicester, but Puel says the winger is happy at the club. 

“I can only say the same thing – there is nothing new about him,” Puel added. “He is a valuable player for us and I want to keep him.

“I have no problem with him. He works hard in training and is enjoying his football and he is playing very well. After that, it is just speculation.

“Last week, for example, he was said to be signing for another club – and all this speculation. I am happy he is staying here and he has a super attitude. If you saw the training session this morning he was smiling and enjoying it. It is amazing.”

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