Youri Tielemans

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Leicester seals permament deal for Youri Tielemans

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Leicester City is backing Brendan Rodgers.

The Foxes broke their transfer record on Monday, sealing the long-anticipated move for 2018-19 loan star Youri Tielemans from Monaco.

The move is worth a reported $50 million, and will tie Tielemans to the King Power Stadium for four seasons.

[ MORE: What we learned about the USMNT this month ]

Tielemans, 22, was wonderful during his half-season with Leicester, posting three goals and four assists with the Foxes.

Remarkably, Tielemans cost just $12 million less than Ayoze Perez of Newcastle, and the pair will join Jamie Vardy, James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, and Demarai Gray in a talented attack.

How is this crew going to line up?!? They have the attacking depth to challenge for a seventh and could even sneak a bit higher given a down season from Manchester United or another power.

They should also be able to aim for a Europa League spot via one of the domestic Cups.

Tielemans in England to wrap up permanent move to Leicester

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Youri Tielemans only spent half of the 2018-19 Premier League season on loan to Leicester City, but the 22-year-old midfielder made quite the impression.

[ MORE: Man United “in the process” of selling Paul Pogba ]

Such an impression, in fact, that Leicester made a bid to Monaco in an attempt to sign the Tielemans on a permanent transfer ahead of the 2019-10 PL season. According to multiple reports out of the UK, he flew to England this week to iron out the details.

Tielemans’ initial loan agreement did not include an option to buy at the end, which will have undoubtedly given the Ligue 1 side additional leverage in negotiations after the Belgian shone brightly (three goals and four assists) in his 13 appearances for the club. Monaco are said to be demanding what would be a new Leicester club-record fee of $50 million.

[ MORE: Barcelona president says Antoine Griezmann talks underway ]

The hope is that Tielemans’ transfer will be completed in time for him to join the first-team squad for the start of preseason training next week. Tielemans joined Monaco two years ago for roughly $25 million.

Transfer rumor roundup: Man Utd, Man City linked with Ligue 1 stars

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Whether red or blue, Manchester wants some big time Ligue 1 central midfielders.

Manchester City has been linked with Atletico Madrid’s Rodri, but may be just as happy to land this option.

[ MORE: West Ham bids for 2 La Liga stars ]

That’s because signing 22-year-old Tanguy Ndombele would also deprive Spurs of his services, and Tottenham is said to be readying a $63 million bid.

But City would, according to reports, go straight to Lyon’s asking price of $88 million.

Ndombele scored once with seven assists in Ligue 1 last season, and was outstanding in UEFA Champions League play.

Meanwhile across town, Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskajer is ready to spring for Belgian national teamer Youri Tielemans.

The 22-year-old scored three times with five assists in just under 1100 minutes on loan to Leicester City from Monaco, where he scored six goals in 65 appearances for the Ligue 1 outfit.

Tielemans completed 85 percent of his passes, a decent figure given his propensity to try challenging offerings.

The reports compiled by The Manchester Evening News say Tielemans was interested in staying at Leicester City but intrigued by United interest. Monaco could sell if their $50 million asking price be met.

Watch Live: Spurs v. Leicester City

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Leicester City will look to take down the Premier League title hopes of Tottenham Hotspur when it visits Wembley Stadium on Sunday (Watch live at 8:30 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

The Foxes will do so with Youri Tielemans and Rachid Ghezzal leading the pack. Both Jamie Vardy and Wilfred Ndidi are on the bench, while Harvey Barnes gets another start for Claude Puel‘s men.

Meanwhile, Oliver Skipp gets a start for Spurs, who are still without Harry Kane and Dele Alli.

LINEUPS

Tottenham Hotspur: Lloris , Trippier, Sanchez, Vertonghen, Rose, Winks, Sissoko, Skipp, Eriksen, Son, Llorente. Subs: Gazzaniga, Alderweireld, Foyth, Aurier, Walker-Peters, Wanyama, Lucas.

Leicester City: Schmeichel, Ricardo, Evans, Maguire, Chilwell, Mendy, Tielemans, Maddison, Gray, Barnes, Ghezzal. Subs: Ward, Morgan, Simpson, Choudhury, Ndidi, Okazaki, Vardy.

PL Sunday preview: Man City v. Arsenal, plus Man United in action

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Manchester City’s title hopes are on the line while Arsenal and Manchester United fight for a place in the top four in what should be an incredibly important day of matches.

[READ: USMNT takes down Costa Rica]

Manchester City v. Arsenal — 11:30 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

With a loss to Newcastle last weekend, Manchester City’s margin for error continues to shrink as it fights to win the Premier League again. However, it will be a tough task against an Arsenal side with three wins in its last four, including a confidence-building victory over Chelsea.

Working in Manchester City’s favor is the history and form of Sergio Aguero, who has scored seven goals in his last 11 matches against Arsenal. Man City has won its last three matches against Arsenal and if they make it four, it will be the first of that occurrence since 1937, according to the Premier League.

In the past, Manchester City’s midfield passing and vision would be talented enough to break down Arsenal’s porous backline. However, Arsenal seems to have shored up its defense, which could make for an interesting matchup against the likes of Kevin De Bruyne.

On the other side, Arsenal has a chance to debut its new signing, Dennis Suarez. Suarez was the only first team signing to come in this winter, when Arsenal requested reinforcements along the wings and fans wanted in in defense. But Suarez could play anywhere across the front three and in attacking midfield. An interesting storyline related to this is what Arsenal manager Unai Emery does with Mesut Ozil. The German playmaker made his first start since Boxing Day in last Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Cardiff at home, but with Suarez in the fold, is Ozil now out for good?

INJURIES: Manchester City —  OUT: Vincent Kompany (undisclosed); QUESTIONABLE: Benjamin Mendy, Ederson (both knee injuries) | Arsenal — OUT: Sokratis, Danny Welbeck (both ankle), Rob Holding (knee); QUESTIONABLE: Laurent Koscielny (jaw), Ainsley Maitland-Niles (knee), and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (foot)


Leicester City v. Manchester United — 9:05 a.m. ET, on NBCSN and NBCSports.com

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s 100 percent record as Man United manager came to an end last Tuesday in a surprise 2-2 draw at home against Burnley, where the Red Devils came back down to earth a bit. Late goals from Paul Pogba and Victor Lindelof saved Man United’s blushes but it was only a matter of time before they delivered a sub-standard performance. However, Solskjaer’s formula, allowing his players the creative license to attack, especially down the wings, has paid dividends handsomely since the Norwegian took over as manager in December.

A bonus for Man United fans on transfer deadline day was not only the departure of long-time midfielder Marouane Fellaini for China, but the announcement of a new contract for Anthony Martial. The young French winger has looked promising this season, and could make a big impact for Man United down the stretch as they work to secure a top-four finish.

As for Leicester City, Claude Puel‘s side has been in a terrible rut recently. Yet, the Foxes have somehow managed to draw or beat Liverpool (draw), Chelsea and Manchester City (both wins) since late December. It seems that against some of the bigger clubs, they rise to the occasion, especially when those clubs leave space in behind for Jamie Vardy and co. to attack on the counter. In fact, Vardy is tied with Aguero and Gylfi Sigurdsson for the most goals against Man United since the start of the 2014-2015 season, scoring four in that span. Youri Tielemans, Leicester City’s new signing and a talented Belgian midfielder, could make his debut against Man United at home. Tielemans, who – fun fact – once displaced Sacha Kljestan at Anderlecht as a 16-year-old, never really settled in at AS Monaco over the last 18 months. Perhaps a change of scenery for him will help. Puel’s side will surely avoid relegation, but another big result against a top-6 side could help the Frenchman’s case to remain as manager for the long term.

INJURIES: Leicester City —  OUT: Daniel Amartey (ankle) | Manchester United — OUT: Marcos Rojo (undisclosed); QUESTIONABLE: Anthony Martial (knock); PROBABLE: Paul Pogba (knock), Chris Smalling (toe)