Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has spoken about the valuation of Wilfred Ndidi.
The central midfielder has been linked with a move to Aston Villa this week, with Steven Gerrard’s club interested in the 25-year-old, but the Foxes boss is keen not to sell him.
“He is worth much more than that,” Rodgers said to the press when asked if it is nice to have a £50m rated player in his squad.
Ndidi will make his 200th appearance for City if he plays against Randers on Thursday night, just over five years on from his £15m switch to the club from Belgian side Genk.
He has been an integral part of the side for each of the managers he has worked under, and routinely tops the charts for tackles and interceptions in the division.
That has seen him linked to Manchester United, among others, in his half-decade at City.
He has a contract at the club until 2024 and Rodgers hopes he, at the very least, sees that through, albeit admitting he is worth enough that he could finance a rebuild of the squad if sold.
A supposed £50m valuation was laughed off by the City boss.
Asked if Ndidi could be a player to build around, or one to sell to finance deals, Rodgers said: “It’s both of those things. It’s how it works, isn’t it? A player of that quality with that mentality, of course you always want to keep. But when you have that player he will always attract that interest.
“But he seems very settled here and I know he’s moved into a new house over this last period and seems very, very happy.
“He’s a pleasure to work with, a good guy and hopefully he can be around the club for many, many years.
“£50m? He’s worth much more than that.”
Ndidi has been particularly vital for City this season as he has been needed to fill in at centre-back when they have been short of players.
The club’s last clean sheet, against Liverpool at the end of December, came with Ndidi alongside Daniel Amartey in the back-line.
Rodgers said: “He’s been a really, really important player in my time here for his role. You see the importance of the role I give him in the team in how he protects the others.
“It’s a very young team as well and his experience and physicality helps those players. He’s been absolutely brilliant, whatever role I’ve asked him to play whether it’s centre-half or midfield.
“He gives us great physicality and there’s still lots of areas of his game he’ll improve on. I can’t speak highly enough of him. He’s a great guy who trains virtually every day. He comes in with a joy to train and work well and learn.
“In every single game he gives his all. He’s been first-class during my time here.”
Ndidi has made 15 appearances in the Premier League this season.