Claudio Ranieri has come out fighting in his attempt to keep hold of last season’s top scorer Jamie Vardy. The forward is still weighing up a move to Arsenal, and there are benefits to both staying and leaving Leicester. Ranieri told The Mirror:
“We want to keep him, Arsenal have said they will pay the full release clause, but he hasn’t accepted yet. He gets the last word.”
Vardy would perhaps be the hardest player for Leicester to replace as he is so unique in his style of play. He is a tireless runner, who covers a lot of distance in every game. Leicester’s approach to securing victory revolves around the forward, as they look to counter-attack, using long balls over the top for Vardy to run on to.
There are not many strikers with the same profile as Vardy in world football, and even fewer carry out the role as well as the England international. If Leicester keep him, and add a striker to complement Vardy, they have a great chance of having another good season next season.
However, if Vardy decides to join Arsenal, Leicester could find that more players leave and their squad falls apart as a result.
In brighter news, Leicester City are closing in on an agreement for Nampalys Mendy according to French outlet Le 10 Sport. The report states that negotiations are reaching the business end and it would take a huge turnaround for Mendy not to be playing for Leicester next season.
This will be a good signing, as he is an accomplished midfielder, who would fit in well to Leicester’s style. Despite being labelled as such, he should not necessarily be seen as a direct replacement for N’Golo Kanté, but as a signing that strengthens the squad.
Mendy will offer greater competition to the current central midfield pair, while he is also adept as playing a 4-3-3. This is a tactic that Ranieri may well employ in the Champions League, as it offers more defensive cover.
Mendy had a strong season with Nice, helping them to European qualification, and for a fee rumoured to be around €12 million, it is a transfer carrying only a small amount of risk.
It is expected that Leicester will have to spend big money to capture a striker in this window, but the fee for Mendy isn’t too high compared to the majority of transfers made by Premier League clubs in the last few years.
Mendy is a very good passer, while he is also a good reader of the game, as shown by his average of 2.2 interceptions per game. His pass accuracy of 92.1% is highly impressive and is one of the main reasons Leicester are likely to sign him.
The final transfer link to be discussed today is taken from the Leicester Mercury, with the primary report coming from the Times. They suggest that Robbie Brady could be on the radar of Claudio Ranieri, and it is certainly an interesting link.
The winger; currently playing for the Republic of Ireland in France, is a Premier League level player, as he has shown in the last two seasons, despite being relegated on both occasions. The report states that the fee required would be more than the £7 million that Norwich paid for him 12 months ago, but their relegation weakens their negotiating position somewhat.
The Irishman is versatile, and would be a good signing to provide cover for a variety of positions in the Leicester squad. This could be important given the increased amount of games that the Foxes will be required to play next season.
He is an excellent crosser of the ball and does create a lot in the final third, while he is a decent set piece taker. Working the other way, Brady is surprisingly good in the air and is an effective tackler considering his favoured position is on the wing.
He might be an underwhelming transfer link to Leicester fans expecting bigger names to help strengthen their Champions League cause. However, Marc Albrighton has surpassed all expectations at the King Power Stadium and Brady would be a similar signing.
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