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My head is at Leicester, says reported Manchester City target Ben Chilwell

The full-back is part of England’s squad for the Nations League finals in Portugal.

Ben Chilwell in action for Leicester (Martin Rickett/PA)
Ben Chilwell in action for Leicester (Martin Rickett/PA)

Ben Chilwell insists his focus remains on Leicester despite being linked with a big-money move to Manchester City.

The England left-back is preparing for Thursday’s Nations League semi-final with Holland in Portugal.

He has been touted with a switch to the champions and City boss Pep Guardiola was filmed speaking to the 22-year-old on the pitch after Leicester lost 1-0 at the Etihad in May.

But Chilwell has shrugged off the link and said he is only thinking about Leicester.

“It was nice for such a successful manager to say I’m a good player,” he said about the meeting with Guardiola.

“I’m at Leicester and with Brendan (Rodgers) coming in we’re all loving him being there and that’s obviously where my head’s at.

“He (Guardiola) just said he thought I was a really talented player and he wanted me to keep playing well, getting up and down the pitch and never going away from it.

“That was it and then he walked off to the next person he wanted to speak to.”

The speculation comes after Chilwell’s impressive season with the Foxes and international breakthrough, having made his Three Lions debut in September.

He has six caps for Gareth Southgate’s side after stepping up from the under-21s and has moved ahead of Manchester United’s Luke Shaw in the pecking order.

“Obviously there’s a lot that comes with playing for England,” said Chilwell. “There’s a lot of pressure we put on ourselves because we want to do well for ourselves and obviously do well for your country.

“The only pressure at the moment is the pressure we put on ourselves to do well because we know how good the squad is.

“Personally I feel like the boys are very comfortable with each other, we know the talent in the dressing room.”

Chilwell returns to Portugal for the first time since playing in Leicester’s 5-0 Champions League thrashing in Porto in December 2016.

The Foxes had already qualified from the group but Chilwell admits it was a humbling experience.

“I was 18 years old and got on the coach afterwards and saw the amount of abuse I was getting which, at the time, was difficult,” he said.

“When you’re young you search your name on Twitter to see what everyone is saying about you, it was one of those things I had to get on with.

“I went into training the next week and kept working hard. That’s all you can do.

“It’s something which probably helped me a lot. I got a lot of stick after the game as a young boy coming in and it probably taught me to be thick-skinned and not listen to stuff like that.”

PA

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