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Leicester City

Leicester would regret replacing Claude Puel in summer overhaul

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Photo: Getty Images.

Last summer, many were shocked by Southampton‘s decision to sack Claude Puel after the Frenchman led the Saints to the Carabao Cup final and a midtable finish. With his former club now languishing and struggling to fight off relegation, history could be about to repeat itself.

The Telegraph believe that dressing room discontent could lead to the club’s owners replacing the manager at the conclusion of the season ahead of a major summer overhaul of the squad.

Their report states that Puel’s frequent chopping and changing of the team with no explanation to key members of the squad has led to some strained relationships, isolating the 56-year-old from his players.

Puel was appointed in October, replacing Craig Shakespeare after a woeful start to the campaign left the club in jeopardy of relegation, and made an immediate impact. In the second half of the season though, things have gone off the rails.

(Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)

It’s true that results have become less impressive and the style of play in recent weeks has frustrated fans, with recent turgid draws against the likes of Swansea, Stoke and Southampton not helping matters as the pace and excitement of the early weeks of his reign has vanished.

In the summer, the £80 million invested was expected to see the Foxes challenge for Europe, but given the situation when Puel was appointed it was an unrealistic aim for him to still achieve that.

For the coach, his impact was clear and if voices are dissenting in the dressing room, then with a summer overhaul on the cards that may no longer be an issue should he route out the disruptive influences who were previously accused of being key to Claudio Ranieri’s demise.

Puel has shown an admiral ability to stabilise a club and summer of change needs a manager who can do just that. Stepping in to replace him with another man would point to a short term vision that Leicester need to move away from if they really are to compete for European football.

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.

Leicester City

Three reasons Danny Ward’s Leicester City move makes perfect sense

The Welshman looks set to move to the King Power.

Max Cohen

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Danny Ward
Photo: Getty Images

On Thursday, Sky Sports reported that Leicester City had agreed a £10 million fee for Liverpool goalkeeper Danny Ward.

The transfer makes sense for both parties, after Liverpool added goalkeeping talent that would have restricted Ward’s opportunities even more.

Here are three reasons why the switch is a smart one for the Welshman.

Alisson’s arrival extinguished Ward’s Liverpool hopes

Liverpool completed the signing of Roma goalkeeper Alisson after a prolonged transfer saga, which pushed Ward even further down the pecking order at Anfield.

Since joining in 2012, the Welsh international has made a grand total of three first team appearances for the Reds. The lack of minutes meant it was time for Ward to move on, and the addition of one of the best goalkeepers in the world confirmed that decision.

(Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

Ward will enjoy increased playing time

In Percy’s tweet announcing the deal between the two clubs, he claimed Ward was being brought in to compete with Kasper Schmeichel, not to be a replacement.

But it is hard to ignore reports from Sky Sports that Chelsea are targeting the Danish goalkeeper, who might be tempted to move to Stamford Bridge as a replacement for the outgoing Thibaut Courtois.

Nevertheless, if Schmeichel stays Ward would still have the opportunity to play consistent football in cup competitions, which is much more than he enjoyed at Anfield.

The Welsh number one spot could soon be his

With a smart move to the King Power Stadium, Ward could possibly claim the Leicester number one role. And with positive performances, he could add to his four Wales caps and make a case to become the Welsh number one.

At only 25 years of age, he has plenty of time to ignite his international career, and at the perfect time due to the expanded Euro and World Cup fields.

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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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