Leicester boss makes Ben Chilwell transfer statement ahead of Chelsea FA Cup clash


Leicester left-back Ben Chilwell will be under the spotlight when he gears up to face Chelsea in the FA Cup quarter-finals tomorrow as Frank Lampard is keen on signing the England international this summer.

After already capturing Ajax ace Hakim Ziyech and RB Leipzig striker Timo Werner, the Blues have shifted focus to recruiting a new full-back.

Chilwell is thought to be top of Chelsea’s wishlist but the Foxes will demand a fee of around £70million.

The 23-year-old netted a stunning late strike against Watford last weekend and all eyes will be fixed on his audition at home to Chelsea tomorrow.

However, Rodgers has predicted that his rising star can handle the transfer pressure and not be too distracted by his future.

“I have no worries at all,” Rodgers said. “Speculation is something you have to live with in this industry.

“He has good experiences now and can deal with that. It is a part of the game and we know that.”

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Rodgers praised Chilwell’s attitude since he returned to action following the coronavirus break.

“Ben has come back and he has been brilliant. He has come back and looks fresh,” he added.

“In the lockdown he has really pressed the reset button again.

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“He has been fit and his running ability has been great.

“His defending has been good — and you saw his goal he scored against Watford. It was a brilliant strike.”

Meanwhile, former Premier League defender Martin Keown thinks it would send a big statement if Leicester can keep hold of Chilwell.

“In recent seasons they may have looked like a ‘feeder club’, forever at risk of losing their top talents to ‘bigger’ teams,” Keown wrote.

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“But that is a perception Rodgers is changing and with him in charge they can start keeping hold of their best players.

“Ben Chilwell is being heavily linked with other clubs — including Chelsea, who will get to take a closer look at him here — and Wilfred Ndidi, Youri Tielemens and James Maddison, all 23, are other excellent assets.

“N’Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez left after their famous Premier League title win in 2015-16 but Vardy turned down the big move and we may see more players at Leicester do the same under Rodgers.

“Naturally, what would help convince their big names that Leicester is the right club for them is silverware and Champions League qualification and both of those are in their hands.

“That is the next step for Rodgers — to lift a trophy in England after so much success in Scotland.”

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