The big news coming out of Leicester in the last few days is the new contract for Jamie Vardy, after weeks of speculation. The England international was mulling over a move to Arsenal, but has decided to remain at the King Power stadium. The Leicester City website announced that he will be staying for a further four years, and he has seen his wages rocket to £100k per week after an incredible rise to the top of the English game. The Mail reported that he opted to stay at Leicester as he has a strong attachment to the club and feels their style of play is much better suited to him.
This summer was always going to determine whether the club were one season wonders, or if they were going to get their top stars poached like many over-achieving clubs before. Southampton are the most obvious example, as they consistently perform above their means, but lose players every summer, with Victor Wanyama the latest to leave the South Coast. Leicester have done extremely well to keep hold of Vardy, who is arguably their most important player and will be hoping it will convince other key players to give them at least one more year. The likes of Riyad Mahrez and N’Golo Kanté are still young and do not need to rush into moving away from the champions.
An exciting transfer rumour doing the rounds is that the champions are leading the race for the highly-rated Rafa Silva, with the Leicester Mercury reporting the story. The rumour originates from the Portuguese daily A Bola. The report suggests that the winger is a priority for Claudio Ranieri but they would have to match the release clause of £15.5 million to capture the Portuguese international. He has had a great season with Braga and is also interesting the likes of Benfica and Porto in his homeland.
Leicester need to strengthen their attacking options, and a dynamic, exciting young talent like Silva could be a perfect addition. He has experience in European competition with Braga, and at the age of 23, could develop into a fine player. He scored 12 times and provided a further eight assists for Braga last season, displaying his quality in the final third. He has a quick burst of acceleration, and is nimble-footed, which allows him to skip past challenges with ease. He is best on the left wing, but likes to drift inside and affect the game from central areas. The one weakness to his game is his lack of strength, which could be a problem in the Premier League, and English sides may be reluctant to spend the money on him for that reason.
An interesting link being made in the recent days is that of Joe Allen. According to Wales Online, Leicester are one of the clubs in competition with Swansea for the star, along with Southampton. The Liverpool midfielder has only one year remaining on his contract, which has alerted other Premier League clubs. He has looked impressive at Euro 2016, and will be wanting to play regularly in the Premier League again, even if that means moving to another club.
Leicester already have N’Golo Kanté and Danny Drinkwater, while Nampalys Mendy is closing in on a switch to the Champions. They need strength in depth, especially in the Champions League, while playing three in midfield may appeal to Claudio Ranieri at times next season. Allen is a different profile of midfielder, as he is a good passer of the ball, and can be incisive at times with his through balls. That is something Leicester lack in their squad, and he would certainly be a good addition. It appears that Swansea are leading the chase though.
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