Brendan Rodgers keen for Leicester to agree new contract with Kelechi Iheanacho

The 24-year-old Foxes striker’s current deal is up at the end of next season.
Brendan Rodgers wants to finalise a new contract for Kelechi Iheanacho soon (Lindsey Parnaby/PA)

Brendan Rodgers wants to finalise a new contract for Kelechi Iheanacho soon (Lindsey Parnaby/PA)

By Ian Parker, PA

Brendan Rodgers is keen for Leicester to make a new contract for Kelechi Iheanacho a priority this summer.

The 24-year-old has been in superb form of late, named Premier League player of the month for March having scored nine goals in as many games for the Foxes since his strike at Fulham in early February.

But with his current deal up at the end of next season, Rodgers wants to agree new terms with the Nigeria international soon.

“He’s definitely someone you want to have,” Rodgers said. “You see the development and the improvement, and that’s what you aim to have – a squad that is developing and can contribute for you.

“I’m pretty sure there’ll be something organised between him and his representatives.”

Even with James Maddison returning from injury, Iheanacho’s form demands his inclusion when his former club Manchester City visit the King Power Stadium on Saturday.

Iheanacho joined the Foxes from City in 2017 for a reported fee of £25million, with Pep Guardiola having determined the striker did not fit his system despite his obvious talent.

Though it took Iheanacho time to find his feet alongside Jamie Vardy at Leicester, the partnership has blossomed this season.

“I think you see a young player playing at the top of his game,” Rodgers said. “When he was at Manchester City he was a young developing player who hadn’t played much.

“He came here for a big fee and then of course coming into a team with one of the league’s best strikers has needed some adapting from him. I can only speak for the two years I’ve been here but his work, his ambition to become a better player was always there.

“He’s a wonderful character within the squad, constantly smiling, and whatever role he’s been asked to play he’s played it very well.

“The combination between him and Jamie is very good and at 24 there’s a lot of improvement in him.”

Iheanacho’s recent scoring run has coincided with a dry spell for Vardy, who has scored only one since the turn of the year having begun the season by bagging 13 goals in 15 appearances.

Instead Vardy has turned provider lately, but Rodgers believes he can get both men firing at the same time.

“That’s your job as an attacking player, to create goals and to score goals,” he said.

“The beauty is that though Jamie hasn’t scored, he’s gone so close, but it really shows how unselfish he is by picking out team-mates in good positions and finding the quality in his pass for Kelechi to score.

“The strikers will always be judged on the goals they score but for me I never put pressure on them to do that. As long as they play with intensity and work hard, those two have shown since they came together they are really dynamic and have great quality.”

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