Manchester City have been linked with Declan Rice and it is no longer a secret. With that said, they should opt for Leicester’s Youri Tielemans.
The Belgian international is likely to leave Leicester at the end of this season. This is because the former Premier League champions have struggled to extend his stay and would not want to risk losing him for free in 2023.
With his contract looking set to run out in 2023, Tielemans has been valued at £35 million by the Foxes.
City have also been linked with the 24-year-old, though numerous sources understand that they have been looking closely at Declan Rice as well.
Why Manchester City should sign Youri Tielemans and not Declan Rice
When it comes to quality, there is not much to separate between Rice and Tielemans. The latter perhaps could be a better fit for Guardiola’s system as compared to the West Ham skipper.
Tielemans is an exceptionally gifted midfielder with admirable qualities in his game. His passing, vision, dribbling, and shooting make him much more suited to Guardiola’s system than Rice. The 24-year-old is good in close spaces and can maintain possession for long spells. Rice is currently a part of a system that likes counter moves, completely opposite to City’s natural style of play.
Plus, he would offer Pep a lot of versatility in the midfield.
This season, Brendan Rodgers has employed Tielemans as a holding midfielder but has given him the freedom to progress up the pitch.
He has forged a decent partnership with Wilfred Ndidi but has made good use of his attacking prowess as well. With 6 goals and 2 assists from 18 appearances this season, he is enjoying one of his best seasons with the Foxes thus far.
The reason behind playing Tielemans deep is to exploit his dribbling and ball-skills to maintain possession.
Just like Rodri, Tielemans could be given the freedom to attack at City and his impressive long-range shooting skills could be put to good use.
Let’s talk about the financial aspect…
The Sky Blues have been tipped to splurge cash on Erling Haaland this coming summer. Also, if they fail to land Haaland, the defending PL champions will try to sign a marquee striker anyway. With that said, the ‘Haaland operation’ could cost the Cityzens up to €130 million. On top of that, Rice has been valued at £100 million.
City will only be able to sign either Haaland or Rice next summer, having already spent £100 million on Jack Grealish last summer.
Tielemans’ valuation has dropped to £35 million from £60 million, because of him not committing to a long-term future at the King Power Stadium. The Foxes are unlikely to risk losing him for free in 2023 and would rather make £35 million by selling him.
£35 million is an absolute steal when it comes to a player like Youri Tielemans. Now, compare it with Declan Rice’s £100 million; I’d go with the former, for sure.
Who could City face in the competition to sign the Belgian?
Metro understands that the 24-year-old midfielder has also been linked with Real Madrid, Barcelona, and rivals, Arsenal and Manchester United.
It will be an interesting transfer race to sign the Leicester star next summer but if City were to enter the race to sign the prospect, they would automatically become one of the favorites to sign him.
With the player said to be keen on Champions League football, City are the best-placed to offer him UCL football on a consistent basis.