Brendan Rodgers has told Chelsea their transfer target Ben Chilwell does not need to leave Leicester to become one of the world’s best left-backs.
However, Rodgers has admitted that he may lose the England defender this summer as Frank Lampard’s side prepare to step up their interest.
Chilwell is high on Chelsea’s list of targets after the West Londoners signed Timo Werner from RB Leipzig and Hakim Ziyech from Ajax.
Foxes boss Rodgers insisted that if the Stamford Bridge side do move for the 23-year-old, Leicester will hold out for the right price – just as they did with Harry Maguire when Manchester United paid £80million for the centre-half last summer.
However, the former Liverpool manager insisted he is still hopeful of keeping Chilwell, with his side currently third in the Premier League and on course for a place in next season’s Champions League.
“All you can ever do is create an environment where players will feel they can improve and develop, and enjoy their football,” said Rodgers in quotes reported by The Guardian.
“But I also recognise players may well look beyond Leicester City.
“I’ve never felt that with Ben. He’s a huge talent and for me he can be one of the world’s best left-backs.
“He’s understanding here what it takes every single day, not just on a game day, and what it takes to be an elite player in terms of lifestyle and professionalism.
“I can only see him getting better and he can get that here at Leicester, of course. I think he’s shown that, particularly this season.
“I can say that, but of course players and agents may well have other ambitions for players. That’s not something you can always control.”
Rodgers said he was “relaxed” about Chilwell’s transfer situation, with Leicester having shown this season they could cope without Maguire, whose transfer fee was a world record for a defender.
“I’m always pretty relaxed on it,” said Rodgers.
“We had this last summer with Harry Maguire, and with really open communication.
“He knew what we were creating here, he knew the work that we were doing, but of course he’s got the lure to go to one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“He decided he wanted to go and the club rightly made that sale so they could get the money that they wanted. But at this moment in time it’s not something with Ben that we’re considering.”
Leicester resume their Premier League campaign on Saturday with a lunchtime visit to Watford, while Chelsea visit Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon.
- Report: FFP rules suspended for 12 months across European football
- Chelsea complete £47.5m signing of Timo Werner
- Timo Werner transfer sends message to Chelsea squad as wonderkid invited to training
- Leicester City ‘confident of Ben Chilwell stay amid Chelsea interest’