Barcelona are reportedly eyeing up a move for Leicester City star Youri Tielemans – but their financial situation will make it ‘almost impossible’ to afford him.
Tielemans said last month that he was keeping his options open while negotiations over a new deal continue – with the likes of Real Madrid and Manchester United showing interest in the player once the window reopens in January.
Barcelona are also planning on testing the waters but his £46million price tag will make it near enough impossible to sign him, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Tielemans will be a key figure for the Foxes as they try to kick-start their Europa League campaign against Spartak Moscow on Wednesday afternoon, after the 24-year-old produced an inspirational performance to help them beat Manchester United 4-2 last Saturday.
Yet the big issue for Leicester is their star’s contract, which runs out at the end of next season. If Leicester have still not agreed new terms with Tielemans they will be under serious pressure to sell next summer, or risk losing him on a free 12 months later.
And Tielemans has been reluctant to commit himself in the past, as he told Sky Sports last month: ‘There’s no update really. I’m open to everything. The transfer market has just closed, but I want to keep as many options as I can open.
‘As long as I’m here I will give everything for the club. I’ve already done so, but I will do so even more.
‘The contract situation is just something that is going on in football, it’s a normal situation.
‘There are talks going on – I’m not saying I’m going to sign, I’m not saying I’m not going to sign. We will see.’
Sportsmail previously revealed how Leicester were looking to offer Tielemans a new £100,000-a-week contract to stay at the club.
However, Tielemans – who joined the Foxes in 2019 for a club-record £35m – has picked up interest from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United and could be set for an exit as a result.
Tielemans would be a huge loss for Brendan Rodgers considering he has scored 19 goals and registered 21 assists in 120 appearances in all competitions.
Rodgers did not offer an update on the current position but believes he can take Tielemans’ game to a new level.
He said: ‘There will obviously be talks with the club in terms of his contract but I continue to work with him and help him improve as a player. That’s my only focus.
‘He is an outstanding player, one of Europe’s top midfielders. He is integral to our game and a joy to work with — a super professional. A young player with that focus is great to see.’