Before contract negotiations begin, Enzo Maresca wants Leicester City to concentrate entirely on their pursuit of promotion over the next month or two.
Enzo Maresca has stated that the talks over the fate of the six Leicester City players whose contracts are up this summer can wait until the Foxes have made their league status official before the upcoming campaign begins. With one third of the Championship season remaining, City is currently 12 points ahead of third place and looks certain to surpass 100 points, a sum that would almost guarantee both promotion and the league title.
Many first-team players currently on the roster will, as of right now, be without contracts after the current campaign ends. The list is headed by 180-goal Leicester striker Jamie Vardy, who is joined by long-serving teammates Marc Albrighton, Wilfred Ndidi, and Kelechi Iheanacho. Another player whose contract is up for renewal is midfielder Dennis Praet. Maresca has given Jannik Vestergaard, whose career at King Power Stadium, a real boost this season.
The fates of those six players are gradually starting to come under scrutiny as those contracts approach their final few months; who might stick around after this campaign? To whom is it worthy to extend new terms? The league the Foxes will play in next season is just one of many things to consider, but they will have a great chance to announce their instant return to the Premier League in the coming month or two.
Only then will Leicester and Maresca discuss their options with Vardy, Iheanacho, Albrighton, Ndidi, Praet, and Vestergaard. However, by the time they negotiate with any players they are interested in keeping on staff, he hopes the club has already regained its top flight standing.
“In this moment the focus is on the final target for this season,” he stated. “It’s fantastic if the guys who will play for us until the end of the season are content to stay together. Everyone is free to make their own decisions if any of us or them is unhappy. We’ll see.
“At the moment, there’s just one priority. Ideally, in a month or two, we’ll have a clear situation. There is just one focus at this time, but we can decide when we assess our situation the following year.”
In addition to the six players who are out of contract, Leicester also needs to think about what will happen to their respective loanees. Issahaku Fatawu will rejoin Sporting Lisbon, Callum Doyle will return to Manchester City, and Yunus Akgun will join Galatasaray, though the latter may still activate a clause requiring City to finalize his signing on a permanent basis.