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Are Leicester City preparing a £25million bid for Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho?

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The Telegraph are reporting that Leicester City are planning an ambitious move for Manchester City‘s Kelechi Iheanacho.

The Nigerian forward broke into the side under Manuel Pelligrini in 15/16, but has been unable to kick on since last summer’s managerial change.

Under Pep Guardiola, the 20-year-old mustered just 525 Premier League minutes, almost a third less than in the previous season. It has become clear that Iheanacho has fallen down the pecking order at the Etihad. With Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus already preferred, the club continues to pursue Alexis Sanchez – as covered by Manchester Evening News

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If the Foxes are successful in signing the striker it would be an impressive coup as The Telegraph article adds that there is interest from West Ham United, Everton and Crystal Palace. Considering the constant inflation of transfer fees, which has already led to Leicester spending £17 million on Harry Maguire, as per BBC Sportthe suggested £25 million fee would signify good value.

Last summer Leicester entered the transfer window as champions of England and struggled to cope with the pressure of making big signings. Claudio Ranieri brought in Ahmed Musa and Islam Slimani for £16.5 million and £25.5 million, respectively, despite neither having Premier League experience – both have failed to justify their price tags so far.

This time round the strategy appears to be set on acquiring players who have featured in England’s top flight and despite his limited game time, Iheanacho fits the bill. Last season his sparse involvement saw a return of one league goal every 131 minutes and a goal in Europe every 52.

Whilst these numbers are impressive, they must be assessed with caution due to the small sample available. For sake of comparison, it is worth looking at Marcus Rashford who also broke through during the  2015/16 campaign. The Englishman plays just across town, primarily in the same position, and is just one year younger than his Nigerian counterpart.

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In that season, Rashford stole the headlines. When Manchester United had nobody else to call on the youngster stepped up to score crucial goals, netting on his debut in the Europa League, Premier League, League Cup and for England.

Yet, his scoring return, in terms of minutes per goal, ranked him behind Iheanacho – who found the net almost twice as frequently. Under Manuel Pellegrini, City’s youngster scored every 94 minutes in the league, compared to Rashford’s 172 minutes.

Since then, the Englishman has been given much greater opportunities to prove himself, making 32 league appearances for United; as it is now clear that the Nigeria International is surplus to requirements at City, a move away would be ideal for his development.

If Iheanacho can replicate the form he has shown in short bursts, when playing regularly, his addition would transform Leicester’s attack. £25 million could easily prove to be a bargain; the youngster will be keen to prove his ability to those at City, who may well regret letting him go.

Leicester City

Leicester would regret replacing Claude Puel in summer overhaul

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Photo: Getty Images.

Last summer, many were shocked by Southampton‘s decision to sack Claude Puel after the Frenchman led the Saints to the Carabao Cup final and a midtable finish. With his former club now languishing and struggling to fight off relegation, history could be about to repeat itself.

The Telegraph believe that dressing room discontent could lead to the club’s owners replacing the manager at the conclusion of the season ahead of a major summer overhaul of the squad.

Their report states that Puel’s frequent chopping and changing of the team with no explanation to key members of the squad has led to some strained relationships, isolating the 56-year-old from his players.

Puel was appointed in October, replacing Craig Shakespeare after a woeful start to the campaign left the club in jeopardy of relegation, and made an immediate impact. In the second half of the season though, things have gone off the rails.

(Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s true that results have become less impressive and the style of play in recent weeks has frustrated fans, with recent turgid draws against the likes of Swansea, Stoke and Southampton not helping matters as the pace and excitement of the early weeks of his reign has vanished.

In the summer, the £80 million invested was expected to see the Foxes challenge for Europe, but given the situation when Puel was appointed it was an unrealistic aim for him to still achieve that.

For the coach, his impact was clear and if voices are dissenting in the dressing room, then with a summer overhaul on the cards that may no longer be an issue should he route out the disruptive influences who were previously accused of being key to Claudio Ranieri’s demise.

Puel has shown an admiral ability to stabilise a club and summer of change needs a manager who can do just that. Stepping in to replace him with another man would point to a short term vision that Leicester need to move away from if they really are to compete for European football.

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West Ham and Leicester should pounce for Stoke’s Xherdan Shaqiri

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Photo: Getty Images.

One player certain to be on the move this summer is Stoke City midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, who will put an end to an unhappy spell at the bet365 Stadium, but could still stay in the Premier League to West Ham or Leicester.

Sky Bet offer odds as low as 1/10 that Shaqiri will depart this summer, with West Ham the leading Premier League club in the betting at 8/1 and Leicester City not far behind at 10/1.

That’s not to say that a stay in England is certain, particularly given that the two Milan clubs are favourites with Inter at 6/1 and AC Milan at 13/2, with Lyon also in the running at 8/1 level with the Hammers.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The winger has not hidden his disappointment with the team’s struggles this season and the Potters now face an uphill battle if they are to avoid relegation from the top flight.

The Swiss international will not entertain the idea of playing second tier football after a decorated career has previously seen him play for the likes of Bayern Munich and Inter Milan.

Having failed to live up to expectations since Mark Hughes brought him to England in 2015, he may be keen to make the move abroad, but with finances likely to be more attractive to remain in the Premier League he may not rule out such a move.

Leicester could be forced to sign a replacement for Riyahd Mahrez whilst West Ham will also be looking for options out wide when Joao Mario’s loan spell comes to an end.

His pace, power and strength could catch the eye of both sides but they will have their work cut out to convince him to remain in England this summer.

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Tottenham would be the perfect move for Leicester star Demarai Gray

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Photo: Getty Images

Having failed in their bid to bring Demarai Gray to Wembley for the 2017/18 season, Tottenham could be reigniting the interest in the hope of signing the young winger ahead of their move to New White Hart Lane.

Reports originating from ESPN say that Spurs are looking to sign the England under 21 captain after Leicester City refused to do business for the former Birmingham man in the past.

Gray’s form has not been as convincing as some may have hoped for this season, with just four goals and three assists from 39 appearances in all competitions, but that has not put Daniel Levy and company off.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Demarai Gray has found his game time limited of late, despite only missing three Premier League games to date this season. Since the turn of the year, the winger has made only four starts for the Foxes and may relish an opportunity to be trusted more regularly, particularly at a club like Tottenham.

Working under Mauricio Pochettino would undoubtedly be a huge draw given his reputation for developing young players. That is believed to be key to his interest in Gray, who could follow in the footsteps of the likes of Eric Dier and Dele Alli in joining the club and going on to become regulars in the Premier League and for England.

Leicester will not be keen to part ways with one of their most exciting young talents and will command a huge price, which may put Levy off, but there are few English players in his age range with such potential and if anyone could justify such a fee, it may well be Gray.

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