Manchester City will press ahead with attempts to sign Harry Maguire after confirming Vincent Kompany’s departure.
Sportsmail understands Maguire is Pep Guardiola’s No 1 choice to replace Kompany and the City manager even approached the Leicester defender on the pitch at the Etihad to express his admiration.
Sources say Guardiola made a beeline for Maguire after City’s 1-0 win earlier this month and lavished him with praise over his performance.
Leicester do not want to sell Maguire, who signed a new five-year contract at the club last September following an impressive World Cup and interest from Manchester United.
Brendan Rodgers rates Maguire, 26, highly and Leicester have a history of holding onto sought-after players. Rihad Mahrez only left for City when Leicester were prepared to sell and a record £60million fee was agreed.
While no internal discussions on the matter have taken place it is believed City would need to offer an even bigger sum to get Maguire. The cost might have to eclipse the £75m price Liverpool paid for Virgil Van Dijk, given Maguire’s age and nationality.
Rodgers is aware his players will attract interest this summer and is prepared to deal with each case in a frank manner. ‘All you can do is present possibilities,’ he has said.
‘I have had situations before with players who have been linked with going to bigger clubs and you try to give an honest appraisal of it.
‘I will speak to a player like I would speak to my son. I would give them the possibilities of staying and what it might look like being away. Then they are men and they have to make their own decision.’