By Noel Whelan

14th Dec, 2022 | 7:30am

Pundit in 'no doubt' about Brendan Rodgers quitting Leicester City with new offer ready - 'he's number one choice'

Noel Whelan has insisted Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers would be his “number one” choice to succeed Gareth Southgate in the England hot-seat should he decide to depart.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the Foxes’ “big mistake” in allowing Youri Tielemans and James Maddison to run down their contracts could make the 49-year-old’s decision easier.

According to the Daily Star (12 December), FA bosses will consider making Rodgers the next manager of England should Southgate decide to leave his post.

Southgate has a contract until 2024 but is considering his future after the Three Lions’ World Cup quarter-final exit against France.

Rodgers was on the brink of the sack at Leicester earlier this season but has turned the Foxes’ fortunes around, winning four of the last five Premier League games.

The Northern Irishman led the Midlands side to an FA Cup triumph in 2020 and is yet to finish in the bottom half at the King Power Stadium.

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Whelan told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “If this was 18 months ago, and we’re talking about British managers to succeed Southgate – he was number one choice.

“My opinion on that hasn’t changed, even though he’s had a tough season. He’s starting to turn things around and come through that spell.

“That’s what good managers do.

“The board have made a big mistake with some of the players at Leicester, letting them run down their contracts.

“Players like Maddison and Tielemans, you can see them wanting a change now. They’re in a really strong position.

“Gareth needs time off to digest everything that has happened, but there’s no doubt in my mind that Rodgers will be up there with a number of top candidates.

“The FA shouldn’t be taking any names off the table when it comes to looking for success, foreign or otherwise.”

In other news, Football Insider updates as Leicester City tell Newcastle United what it will cost to sign James Maddison.