Leicester City are reportedly all set to make a move for Baptiste Santamaria when the transfer window finally reopens. The Express is reporting that the 25-year-old defensive midfielder is being targeted as a potential N’Golo Kante-like signing at the King Power Stadium.
But the Foxes will undoubtedly have to battle their rivals from across the country as Aston Villa are known to be big fans of Santamaria.
The Angers president later confirmed that Aston Villa had been knocked back in their pursuit of Santamaria. Oliver Pickeau told L’Equipe that Santamaria was told he could leave the club after one more season at the Stade Raymond Kopa and the midfielder agreed to stick around for another campaign.
That would not have passed Aston Villa by who, dependent on what league they are playing in next season, will still have the combative midfielder on their shortlist.
It certainly bears a resemblance to the 2015 battle between Leicester and Aston Villa for another highly-rated French midfielder. As detailed by The Sun, Jordan Veretout was all set to join Leicester that summer. But he had a change of heart, joining Aston Villa. It made sense at the time. One had just been in an FA Cup final whilst the other narrowly avoided relegation and had just made the shock managerial appointment of Claudio Ranieri.
Leicester went on to win the Premier League whilst Veretout struggled as Aston Villa suffered relegation.
Whoever wins the race for Santamaria will hope he has the more positive of impacts next season.