New deal for Maguire proof of Leicester’s ambition, says boss Puel

Leicester boss Claude Puel hopes Harry Maguire signing a new long-term contract will ward off interest in the highly-rated defender.

The 25-year-old was a target for Manchester United during the summer and was a key player for England as they reached the semi-finals of the World Cup, before committing his future to Leicester last week by signing an improved five-year deal.

Maguire has started all four of the Foxes Premier League games this season and Puel believes the new contract for the centre-half represents an important statement by the club.

“Of course not always players who start the season finish the season at a club, but it is not in my mind that he will leave the club after just one year,” said Puel.

“It is important to keep a player of his quality and importance to the club and the most important thing for me is to continue with him and work together.

“It is a good feeling for all the club and for our fans. This signing shows the ambition of the club, the owners and for the fans it is very good feeling for the future.

“For the squad also – we kept our best player and it is a good thing to continue to improve.”

Leicester were reportedly seeking a sum for Maguire in excess of the world record fee for a defender of £75million Liverpool paid to sign Virgil van Dijk.

Asked if Maguire’s new contract included a buy-out clause to further fend off potential suitors, Puel said: “I don’t know the details of his contract. But him signing is good for the club.”

Leicester resume their Premier League campaign away at Bournemouth on Saturday and Puel is looking for a better start to the game from his team.

In both games the Foxes have lost so far, against Manchester United and Liverpool, they have conceded inside the opening 10 minutes.

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Puel said: “We must learn and correct this. We need to improve concentration from the kick-off.

“Against Manchester United and Liverpool we conceded early, but then went on to show positive things in those games, but we started so slow. It was a shame.

“Bournemouth have started the season well and it will be a challenge for us.”

Press Association