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Leicester City

Leicester chasing Newcastle’s Rafa Benitez, but they won’t be the only ones

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Photo: Getty Images.

It has been no secret that Rafa Benitez’s future is uncertain at Newcastle United in recent months as doubts over the club’s ownership continue, but the Daily Star Sunday now claim that there is perhaps the biggest threat to him continuing at St. James’ Park.

The newspaper reports that the Spanish coach tops Leicester City‘s list of targets to replace current head coach Claude Puel, whose position looks more untenable than ever after being thrashed 5-0 by struggling Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Benitez’s magnificent achievements with the Magpies show just why he is in such high demand. Newcastle eased to promotion from the Championship at the first time of asking last season and have outperformed expectations substantially, currently sitting in the top half of the Premier League table.

Owners at clubs like the Foxes will consider the lack of real quality in that squad and imagine what he could achieve with substantial funds and the quality of their playing staff behind him.

(Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

That won’t just be the case at the King Power Stadium though, with the likes of West Ham also likely to be having similar thoughts given the similarities between them. Even the likes of Everton would likely consider such an option if it were not for his Liverpool past.

In truth though, Leicester seems the perfect fit. A side based on defensive strength during their historic league winning season, club bosses have shown a desire to restore that with Puel’s appointment but it has not worked with Everton the only other top half side to have conceded more than the 52 goals they have.

That is Benitez’s specialty, and he has also shown that he can be ruthless in gutting a squad and rebuilding, something the Foxes are keen to do this summer.

Leicester must act quickly and hope that the coach’s loyalty will not keep him on Tyneside, but it would seem that Benitez would be the perfect appointment.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

Chelsea

Three goalkeepers Leicester should target if Kasper Schmeichel leaves

Chelsea are keen to sign Kasper Schmeichel, which would leave Leicester in need of a replacement.

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Kasper Schmeichel
Photo: Getty Images

Leicester City could be in need of rejuvenation between the stick if Chelsea get their way, as the Blues are eyeing Kasper Schmeichel.

Sky Sports state the Denmark international is a target for new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri amidst continued speculation that Thibaut Courtois is off to Real Madrid – a transfer that now seems increasingly likely to go ahead.

After featuring for his nation at the World Cup, speculation suggesting 31-year-old Schmeichel will seek a new challenge for the 2018/19 season has been growing, with Sky Sports previously reporting the Premier League winner is also a target for Roma.

(Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

If Schmeichel is to leave, then Leicester boss Claude Puel must invest funds on a new goalkeeper in the market and these three options would be tremendous signings.

“Those Champions league nights are special. There is something about the night games, going away to different cities, it makes it unique.”

Schmeichel’s comments in 2017 may hint at a move for European football.

Jack Butland

England international Jack Butland may not have been first-choice for Gareth Southgate during the club’s tremendous run to the World Cup semi-finals but a major transfer could be on the cards before the window shuts.

Stoke City‘s relegation means that Butland will find it difficult to fight for a spot in the national side next season if he remains in the second-tier and Leicester would be the ideal surroundings for the 25-year-old, though a stern fight may emerge for his services.

The Sun reported Chelsea’s interest earlier this month but the Blues pursuit of Schmeichel suggests that their targets have changed, while the Mirror has thrown doubt on Liverpool‘s reported interest as Jurgan Klopp is content with the goalkeeping options he has at Anfield.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

David Ospina

Boasting vast experience at international level, after starring for Colombia in the previous two World Cups, David Ospina also possesses Premier League and European experience – all of which would encourage Leicester to make a move.

Arsenal are ready to approve a departure following their capture of Germany international Bernd Leno and the Mirror states that the Gunners will accept a fee of just £6 million for the 29-year-old due to the fact he has entered the final 12 months of his contract.

Boca Juniors are also in the hunt for Ospina’s services but the player’s agent told El Crack Deportivo that a move to South America would be difficult to materialise and his preference is to remain in European football.

(Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Cho Hyun-Woo

Prior to the World Cup, Cho Hyun-Woo told ESPN that he dreams of playing in England and the performances of the South Korea goalkeeper in Russia have increased the possibility of that becoming a reality.

The 26-year-old starred for his nation in a difficult group alongside Mexico, Sweden and Germany but stunned the latter with a shock victory that saw the defending champions knocked out prematurely, with Hyun-Woo capturing plenty of attention for a number of superb stops.

An advisor of Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp told Dagbladet that the Reds should secure a move for the Daegu FC player and Leicester should be alerted as a result, as he could prove to be a superb acquisition.

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Leicester City

Leicester City would be in dreamland with reported Ahmed Musa windfall

Ahmed Musa has struggled at Leicester City but thrived for his country.

Mathew Nash

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Nigeria fell agonisingly short of knocking Argentina out of the World Cup this summer and many of their players impressed fans with their displays. One player who caught the eye was well-known to fans of one Premier League club. Leicester City forward Ahmed Musa was brilliant for Nigeria in Russia.

Such form has now seen him linked with plenty of moves away from the King Power. The latest reports involved Saudi Arabian outfit Al Nassr. They are seemingly ready to pay a whopping £30 million for the player, as reported by Nigerian source Own Goal Nigeria.

That fee has now been skewed in other reports, with the Leicester Mercury reporting the fee at £40 million. That fee has also been suggested by Score Nigeria earlier this month whilst the Daily Trust also report the news with that fee attached.

(Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

So there is clearly some disparity between the reports.

But at £30 or £40 million this would be great business for Leicester.

Signed for just £16 million in the summer of 2016, the Nigerian managed just five goals in 33 games for the Foxes before being loaned back to CSKA last winter.

Leicester would, therefore, stand to make £24 million if the £40 million assessments are correct. If not, then £14 million would not be bad either.

He would also be sold to a nation where his form would be out of sight and out of mind. Leicester are unlikely to feel any repercussions personally if he is sent to Dubai. If he scores a litany of goals? Then people will just criticise the standard of football.

At £30 million it is a magnificent deal for Leicester. At £40 million, they are in dreamland.

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Leicester City

Three reasons James Maddison can become a star for Leicester City next season

The 21-year-old star is destined for big things next season.

Liam Thomas

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James Maddison
Photo: Getty Images

21-year-old James Maddison became Leicester City‘s third signing of the summer when he completed a £22 million move from Norwich City to the King Power Stadium.

After Riyad Mahrez completed his long-awaited move to Manchester City this week, it seems as though there is no better time than now for the talented English playmaker to come and make his mark on the Premier League.

The Foxes beat off stiff competition for the talented youngsters signature after a terrific season in the Championship that saw the attacking midfielder score 14 times and assist eight.

(Photo by Stephen Pond/Getty Images)

But will he live up to the hype? Here are three reasons why James Maddison has everything it takes to become a star for Leicester City in the 2018/19 Premier League season.

Superstar stats

Maddison was the subject of interest from all over Europe last season when in January it was confirmed he held the title of creating the most chances out of any player in the Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga (54). An impressive statistic for a 21-year-old and testament to the abundance of talent he has.

“James is a wonderful player who is one of the most exciting young talents in English football. He made a big contribution to Norwich City last season and I’m delighted that he has decided to make the step up to the Premier League with Leicester.”

Leicester boss, Claude Puel, speaking after Maddison completed his £22 million move.

Set piece specialist

One of Maddison’s greatest assets is his ability from dead ball situations, a skill which in the Premier League is a vital weapon for any team to have at their disposal. Expect the new Leicester number 10 to be taking over free kick duties now Riyad Mahrez has left the King Power Stadium and don’t be surprised if he bangs a few of them in next season.

Chance to fill the void Riyad Mahrez had left

Maddison has a real chance to step up and make a name for himself since Riyad Mahrez’ departure, which for a talented and ambitious youngster like himself could be the perfect remedy for something great. Maddison was voted Norwich’s Player of the Season last year which all but proves he can take a team by the scruff of the neck and make it his own; even at such a young age.

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