The N’Golo Kanté saga ran from the end of the season until the end of the European Championships, and that has now been followed by the Riyad Mahrez saga. The player has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal in recent days and Claudio Ranieri has consistently denied that his star man is set to leave the club. After the pre-season friendly against Celtic, a game in which Mahrez scored, the manager told reporters:
“It is good because you can continue to write, write,”
“It is good for you but not for us. Did you see Riyad, how he is happy? He played well and worked so hard for the team and scored a good goal. Then he stays with us. Of course.
“With another team there are many more stars and maybe he doesn’t play at the same level. Maybe he go on the bench. It is much better he stay here with me and another year is important for him”
They say there is no smoke without fire, and there is certainly somebody behind the scenes is attempting to secure
Mahrez a move away from the KP Stadium. The last point from Claudio Ranieri is poignant though, and could be considered a warning to the Algerian international.
Ranieri knows that he cannot compete with the size of Arsenal’s attraction, but Mahrez is an important member of his side and will get a chance of Champions League football next season. He may not get that elsewhere and he may
be better off staying with the champions for at least one more season.
In terms of incomings, a couple of new names have been linked with Leicester City. The first is Vedran Corluka; the former Tottenham defender, who played well for Croatia at the European Championships. The Mirror report that Ranieri is keen to add Corluka as he will bring experience to a squad that will be competing on multiple fronts. This may be an alternative to Michael Keane, who has been a priority target for Leicester this summer, but The Foxes’ advances have so far at least been fruitless.
Corluka has become a reliable defender since moving from right-back to centre-back, and as he has progressed into his twilight years, the mistake-prone displays of his Spurs days are long gone. His performances have put him on the radar of a lot of clubs across Europe, including Bayern Munich. The Croatian is believed to be keen on a move to a bigger European league and Leicester may well appeal to him.
The 30-year-old is strong in the air and his experience at full-back mean that he likes to have the ball at his feet, with
his passing range impressive for a centre-back. He would be a good addition to the squad and offers firm competition to Wes Morgan and Robert Huth.
The second new player linked to the club is Bartosz Kapustka, who was one of the break-out stars of Euro 2016 with Poland. The Mail report that Leicester have made a £6.25 million bid for the youngster and that they are pushing to get a deal done in the coming days. There is lots of interest across Europe, with Southampton, Cologne and Ajax all being linked to the Cracovia midfielder.
It would be an exciting signing and one that would show the club are planning for the future, as they did in January with the signings of Demarai Gray and Daniel Amartey.
The attacking midfielder is tipped to be the next big star of Poland and has shown flashes of his brilliance at international level, with his performance against Northern Ireland being classed by many as breath-taking. He has a clean strike and often threatens from distance. Kapustka exhibits great ball control and thrives in small spaces.
Leicester lack attacking options in the midfield and although Kapustka is raw, he could be a good impact option from the bench. If he signs, it would be with one eye on the future, but also show that Leicester mean business and are trying to sustain their current position in the football hierarchy.
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