(Reuters) – Leicester City are pleased with their transfer business in the close season despite being unable to replace centre back Harry Maguire following his record-breaking departure, manager Brendan Rodgers said on Friday.
Maguire moved to Manchester United in the final week of the transfer window for a reported 80 million pounds, a world record fee for a defender, leaving Leicester with little time to find a replacement.
However, Leicester did sign forward Ayoze Perez and made midfielder Youri Tielemans’ loan move permanent while Dennis Praet was signed on deadline day to give the club more options in attacking midfield.
“Very pleased (with Leicester’s transfer business),” Rodgers told reporters ahead of Sunday’s Premier League match against Wolverhampton Wanderers. “We targeted a number of areas and were delighted with players brought in.
“We lost a very important player in Harry, a fantastic player but a really good man. What Harry did over the summer was show how to conduct oneself, show professionalism, showed that good guys get what they want.
“For us, it was always going to be a difficult market if we were interested in one or two. It was always going to be very difficult to get someone in. We looked at it, it didn’t quite happen, but as a club we are happy with what we have.”
Although Leicester beat overwhelming odds to win the Premier League title in 2016, they have not finished above ninth since and Rodgers said their target this season was to break into the top six and qualify for European competition.
Leicester’s opponents Wolves, who finished seventh last season, qualified for the Europa League and are currently involved in the qualification rounds before the group stage.
“Everyone talks about getting into the top six. For us, we want to knock as heavily as we can on that door and push,” Rodgers added.
“Everything shows you that it’s getting more difficult the last couple of years, that points gap has increased between sixth and the other teams.
“But in my time here at Leicester, we said we wanted to make European football. Whether it’s this year, next year or the year after, we shall see, but we want to go and push as hard as we can, do the best that we can.”
(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)