Leicester City are seeking changes this summer to propel themselves up the Premier League standings, as Claude Puel prepares for his first full season in charge.
The Foxes have money to spend following the sale of Riyad Mahrez to Premier League champions Manchester City but could still see a number of senior departures occur at the King Power Stadium in the coming weeks.
Changes look to be afoot as a number of sides look to raid Leicester for talent, while the Foxes themselves have been linked with some exciting additions. Here, we have identified five deals that could be completed this week.
Kasper Schmeichel to Chelsea
Claude Puel has insisted Kasper Schmeichel is going nowhere, in comments made to Sky Sports, but retaining the services of the Denmark international could be taken out of their hands if he decides he wants a new challenge.
Sky Sports understands that Chelsea are eyeing a move for the 31-year-old as they eye a replacement for seemingly Real Madrid bound Thibaut Courtois, although the Blues do have other candidates on their shortlist.
Alireza Jahanbakhsh – AZ Alkmaar
Linked with both Leicester City and Brighton, the Leicester Mercury states, Iran international Alireza Jahanbakhsh is touted as a potential candidate to fill the void left by Riyad Mahrez after his move to Manchester City.
Capped 41 times for his nation, the versatile attacking midfielder impressed at the World Cup in Russia, playing all three matches against Spain, Portugal and Morrocco, leaving AZ Alkmaar with a stern fight in the quest to retain his services.
“We are actually discussing a transfer, but I cannot say which team is involved, but it is not a Dutch club.”
Ahmed Musa to Galatasaray
After starring for Nigeria at the World Cup, catching the eye with his brace in the group stage victory over Iceland, Leicester are looking to cash-in on the services of Ahmed Musa in the hope of recouping the reported £16 million fee they paid CSKA Moscow for his services.
Turkish outlet Fanatik claims that Galatasaray are confident of concluding a deal for Musa this summer, although clubs in Russia and Saudi Arabia are interested, after turning their attentions towards the forward after signing Henry Onyekuru on-loan from Everton.
Musa’s agent, speaking to radio station Radyospor (h/t Leicester Mercury), stated last month that his client was in discussions with Galatasaray and it seems like a deal is inevitable.
Yannick Bolasie – Everton
With Mahrez having moved on, Leicester desperately need to find a capable replacement on the wings and, following some rather incredible reports from L’Equipe stating the Foxes are eyeing Bordeaux ace Malcom, a more realistic option could arrive from within the Premier League.
The Liverpool Echo names Leicester as one of three sides interested in the services of Everton outcast Yannick Bolasie, alongside top-flight rivals Crystal Palace and Fulham as well as Turkish giants Fenerbache.
29-year-old Bolasie could find himself surplus to requirements if the Toffees complete their planned capture of Richarlison from Watford and the club are ready to listen to offers.
Islam Slimani to Sporting Lisbon
A lot has gone on in the past few months with Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon, who have lost a number of their stars for nothing after disgraceful incidents last season saw fans attack the players at the training ground.
Naturally, many were keen on moving on and Sporting are in the market for replacements, which Sky Sports states has led the club to express an interest in bringing Algeria international Slimani back to the Estadio Jose Avalade.
Sporting want to complete a loan deal but Leicester, having seen the striker struggle in the second-half of the season with Newcastle, are seeking a permanent sale as they demand around £18m for his signature.
West Ham must bring an end to lengthy Reece Oxford saga
The Hammers must bite the bullet and seel the teenage ace.
After months and months of speculation, it is remarkable that West Ham have reached mid-August with Reece Oxford still in their squad.
The 19-year-old has endured a rollercoaster few years in east London, catching the eye as a 16-year-old Premier League debutant in the opening week of the 2015-16 season with a thrilling performance in a 3-0 win over Arsenal but seeing opportunities severely limited since.
Three years later, Oxford has made just eight league appearances and has spent time on loan with Reading and Borussia Monchengladbach, the latter of whom were keen on a permanent deal for the highly-rated defender.
However, it appears that West Ham have missed their chance to cash in on a sale to Gladbach for a player Sky Sports states the Hammers are seeking £10m for, with the Bundesliga side appearing to have cooled their interest.
That leaves West Ham in a difficult position as it is clear Oxford has no future at the club in the eyes of Manuel Pellegrini, who has signed Fabian Balbuena and Issa Diop this summer to push the teenager further down the pecking order.
Contracted until 2021, there is little change of Oxford leaving in a bargain deal like fellow youngster Domingos Quina did recently, joining Watford, but the circumstances can be compared to a ticking time bomb as the defender will surely be furious if he is not given a chance to leave this summer.
“I was desperate to come back to Borussia. Things went well for me at the end of the Hinrunde, which is why I wanted to return and complete the loan until the end of the season.”
Fortunately, German outlet Kicker states Hannover have expressed an interest in signing Oxford and West Ham should waste no time in entering negotiations for a permanent sale, which would suit all parties involved.
It is a shame that a player with Oxford’s potential has fallen so much in recent years and it should serve as a warning to West Ham in their treatment towards other promising youngsters – namely Declan Rice, who is yet to sign a new deal at the club.
Liverpool round-up: Champions League blow; Mignolet departure nears; Fabinho discusses challenge
Liverpool are left waiting to see which seed they will be in the Champions League draw
Liverpool will be hoping that PAOK will beat Portuguese side Benfica in their Champions League qualifying play-off as victory for the Greek side will see the Reds through to Pot 2 in the Champions League draw ahead of the Iberian outfit.
The draw will take place in Monaco on August 30, with Liverpool currently the highest ranked team in Pot 3 but behind Benfica, the only remaining Pot 2 team in qualification. It comes after Swiss side FC Basel were shockingly knocked out, allowing Liverpool to take up the spot of first in line to join Pot 2.
Simon Mignolet’s agent has spoken about his future
Simon Mignolet has been strongly linked with a move away from Anfield as he has fallen even further down the pecking order following the arrival of Alisson Becker, and it now seems that he may be third choice on Merseyside. Napoli are the latest club to be linked with a move before the transfer window shuts in Italy on Friday.
“We are in discussions with Napoli, but there is no agreement yet. In the end it is in their interest to find a solution. Liverpool want to keep Simon, but he wants to play in matches – and he should. He deserves to play for a big club. Simon is the best option for Napoli in terms of quality, even though there is a financial aspect to it.”
With time running out, all parties will have to get to work if they are to come to an agreement to allow the Belgian to leave. Much could depend on the future of second choice shotstopper Loris Karius, who has also been linked with an exit.
Fabinho has discussed the challenge of adapting to the Premier League
Summer signing Fabinho was only on the bench for the Reds on Sunday as they overcame West Ham United with a 4-0 win and the Brazilian has discussed the challenge that he faces having joined from Monaco.
“I think my performances have been good. It’s a different playing style than at Monaco; there were two of us in midfield there and here at Liverpool there’s three… I knew [my role] would change and I feel I’ve adapted well. When I came to Liverpool I knew this competition would exist in midfield and I think it’s really good for the team.”
Some fans were not convinced by his pre-season form but it remains early days in his Anfield career with plenty of opportunities ahead to prove himself in a holding midfield role.
What next for Watford outcast Obbi Oulare?
The Belgian striker has struggled to fit in since his move to Watford.
Watford confirmed their Premier League squad numbers for the new season yesterday and for one young striker, it confirmed he has no future at the club. The player in question is 22-year-old Belgian striker Obbi Oulare.
Watford snapped up the 6ft 4 ins striker from Club Brugge in 2015 for a reported £6 million fee. He was being compared to fellow Belgian striker Christian Benteke, but swiftly became a forgotten man at Vicarage Road.
Loan spells at Zulte Waregem, Willem II, and Royal Antwerp had their ups and downs but Oulare clearly has no future at Watford.
In his three seasons as a Hornet, he has played just three times and failed to score.
It is a shame for a player with obvious talent to have fallen away so dramatically at Watford.
So what next for the player?
Whilst the transfer window in the Premier League may be shut, Oulare has plenty of time to find a permanent exit to somewhere else in Europe or indeed out on loan to the Football League.
Sport Witness reported earlier this month that former loan side Antwerp were keen on a permanent deal, so perhaps that is an option for the Watford outcast.
Wherever he does end up next, it will hopefully be a more fruitful experience than the one he has had with Watford.
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