Brendan Rodgers admitted Leicester City were priced out of buying a replacement for Harry Maguire as clubs looked to take advantage of their £80million windfall from Manchester United.
Maguire completed his move to Old Trafford earlier this week to set a new world record for a defender, surpassing the £75m that Liverpool paid for PFA player of the year Virgil van Dijk.
Leicester wanted to replace Maguire with Nathan Ake or James Tarkowski, but Bournemouth reportedly quoted the Foxes £75m for Ake and Burnley demanded in ‘excess of £40m’ for Tarkowski. Leicester tabled an offer for Tarkowski but it fell well short of the Clarets’ valuation.
Rodgers knew once Leicester had cashed in so heavily on Maguire that clubs would inflate their own asking prices.
‘It’s as simple as that,’ said Rodgers. ‘We had every right to hold out for what our valuation was for Harry but then everything was going to be very difficult. One because of the price and two because that time line was really tight. We looked at it, it didn’t happen, but we’re happy with what we have.’
Maguire told Rodgers at the start of the summer that he would like to join United if they met the club’s valuation for him and the Leicester boss praised the defender for how he conducted himself during the transfer saga.
Leicester rejected bids from both Manchester clubs only for United to meet the Foxes’ £80m valuation at the end of last week as Ed Woodward and Leicester chief executive Susan Whelan agreed a deal. His move to Old Trafford was confirmed on Monday.
‘We lost a fantastic player and a really good man. What Harry did over the summer was show how to conduct yourself and also showed good guys get what they want in the end.’
Leicester had been planning for Maguire’s departure since last summer when he was wanted by then United boss Jose Mourinho. They brought in two young centre-backs, Caglar Soyuncu and Felip Benkovic, who spent time with Rodgers on loan at Celtic last season.
‘The club started to prepare for it a year ago,’ said Rodgers. ‘They brought in two outstanding centre-backs in Caglar and Filip and if we weren’t to bring anyone else in we know we had them alongside with Jonny Evans and Wes Morgan. We’re happy with what we have.’