Leicester City want to make Michael Keane their next signing to add to their defensive options, with the Mirror reporting they are set to make a ‘take it or leave it’ bid of £15 million for the Burnley defender. That is a large fee for a player that has never fully proven himself in the top flight.
He shone as one of the finest central defenders in the Championship last term, and there is a belief that he could be a future England international. It is easy to see why he appeals to Leicester, who feel he is more attainable now than he would be if he had a good season with Burnley in the Premier League. They have already had two bids rejected and could move on to other targets if this is rejected.
In terms of what he will bring to the table, Keane is excellent in the air, and an asset to have at set pieces in both boxes. At the age of 23, he has a lot of room to develop and would relish the challenge of trying to break into the Leicester side.
Claudio Ranieri needs a bigger squad to deal with the increased demand of Champions League football and increased competition, also ensuring that his players do not become complacent. Keane is the perfect profile of centre-back to bring in, as he is young, hungry, English and he would be happy to start as a squad member. There is also the opportunity to make a profit on him in the future, if he establishes himself in the Leicester side and continues to develop.
Another central defensive target could be a member of the successful Iceland side, in Ragnar Sigurdsson, also reported by the Mirror. They state that both Leicester and Tottenham are interested in the defender, who currently plies his trade in Russia with Krasnodar. There is interest from other European sides as well, with the defender; who played a key role in vanquishing England, valued at around £4 million. This could be a link made purely off the back of his Euro 2016 appearances, therefore it needs to be treated with caution.
At the age of 30, it is doubtful that he fits the profile of centre-back that Leicester want to bring in, as they already have Robert Huth and Wes Morgan, both over 30 years of age. They look to be targeting younger, hungrier players to put pressure on the starting eleven that was so successful last season.
Sigurdsson, who was man of the match against England, may see a move to Leicester as the end goal and could be happy to play a back-up role. This is not the sort of player that The Foxes should be targeting. He has looked excellent at the Euro 2016, but clubs need to be wary of buying players off the back of a tournament, and Sigurdsson is no different. I would be surprised if he was a genuine target for Leicester.
The N’Golo Kanté story continues to rumble on, with new clubs being linked with the midfielder every day. Marca are reporting that Real Madrid are interested in the Frenchman to challenge Casemiro for the holding midfield berth. They have tracked him since the turn of the year after being impressed with his performances for Leicester.
The Leicester Mercury also have a report on his future, in which they suggest he is currently the most wanted man in Europe, with Juventus, PSG and a host of Premier League clubs interested in the midfielder. It has been a phenomenal rise to the top for the French international, and it would be a massive statement if the league champions can persuade him to stay.
Although Leicester fans are hoping that Kanté will remain at The KP Stadium, they won’t begrudge him a move to one of Europe’s biggest clubs. It is extremely difficult to turn down the allure of Real Madrid and Juventus, and Leicester will find that over the coming weeks as the race for the Frenchman heats up.
They will look to replace him, with Nampalys Mendy believed to be close to coming in. I also expect them to bring in another central midfielder, as they have been linked with several throughout the summer, and Ranieri wants strength in depth to attack the Champions League with gusto.
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