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 By PA Sport

Leicester's Claude Puel favours development over big signings

Leicester boss Claude Puel insists he will always try to snub spending mammoth money in favour of developing players.

The Foxes to go Liverpool on Saturday after the Reds made Virgil van Dijk the world's most expensive defender, paying Southampton £75 million earlier this week.

Puel managed Van Dijk -- who will officially move to Anfield on Monday -- at Southampton last season and believes he can become the world's best defender.

But the Frenchman wants to avoid paying such extravagant fees.

He said: "I think it's a competition between great teams with great players. Of course we saw this with PSG and different teams buy [pay] crazy, crazy, crazy prices for some players. It's not my philosophy but perhaps in their place I would make the same decision.

"I prefer to try to develop my team, to develop the players, to improve with them and not just to take the best players in any position.

"I like the work of [Arsene] Wenger because he works all the time without the same possibilities but also great teams. He builds fantastic teams with quality, good fluency in their play and he develops a lot of young players. It's a good thing.

"English football needs to develop young English players for the national team. It's important to develop all the players, not just to buy the best players in the world.''

Leicester won a shock title in 2016 having paid £1m for Jamie Vardy and £400,000 for Riyad Mahrez in 2012 and 2014 respectively.

Since then Manchester United re-signed Paul Pogba from Juventus for £89.7m and bought Romelu Lukaku from Everton for £75m while Manchester City spent over £200m this summer alone.

Puel suggested another underdog title win remains possible but doubts managers will get the time needed because of demanding owners.

He said: "It's possible but we need patience, to have all the philosophy in place. I don't speak just about Leicester but all the clubs to have a long process to develop a team, to buy young players with talent and quality and to try to keep them for three or four seasons.

"I don't know in the Premier League if we have this time and patience around the manager. It will be difficult to have this possibility because all the owners and chairman want results, just the results.

"I like a long process but we know this experience can stop quickly.''


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