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Leicester City

Would £10.5million for Sevilla’s Vicente Iborra represent good business for Leicester City?



Vicente Iborra Leicester City

If reports coming from Spain are anything to go by on Tuesday morning then Leicester City are on the verge of securing the signing of experienced Sevilla midfielder Vicente Iborra.

According to Sevilla’s official website, the two clubs have come to a principal agreement over a switch to the Premier League, with Iborra poised to undergo a medical and agree personal terms.

And further reports from Spanish outlet Marca have alleged that a move for the Sevilla captain could be worth £10.5 million, with the Foxes prepared to offer him a lengthy contract and an improved wage package.

A statement from Sevilla said: “If everything goes as expected, Vicente Iborra will leave Nervión after four seasons of delivery and commitment, wearing the armband as the first captain in his last campaign. 

“Three Europa Leagues, 172 games and 30 goals are the numbers of a colossus that beyond their achievements will remain in the memory for their leadership in and out of the field.”

Leicester City supporters may need a re-jig of their memories but most would have already seen the veteran defensive midfielder in action, with Iborra captaining Sevilla during their Champions League last-16 defeat to the Foxes last season, and this could prove to be an outstanding signing from them.

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At 29 years of age, there is little that Iborra hasn’t experienced in the game yet, leading his side to three consecutive Europa League titles as Sevilla dominated the competition for a lengthy period.

And this innate sense of leadership – allied with the likes of Wes Morgan and Danny Drinkwater already in the Leicester ranks – could give the Foxes a really solid spine of a side ahead of next year.

Iborra – who made 172 appearances and scored 30 times in Spain – is the perfect fit for the Premier League, with his six-feet and three-inch frame giving him a natural ability to compete whilst in the air.

Add to this his strong nature in the tackle, his incredibly powerful physique and his no-nonsense attitude to dealing with opposition players and he is the gritty player that could light up the King Power.

After being trialled in a more attacking role during his time in Seville he also has a versatility to his play that could come in handy should injuries pop up during the campaign – or should the Foxes need a direct runner further up the pitch – having a good instinct to be in the right place in the final third.

When considering the current state of the transfer market, a shade over £10 million for a player of Iborra’s quality and experience is an exceptional piece of business from the owners at Leicester City.

After an undeniable season of two halves last year it seems that Craig Shakespeare is doing his utmost to make clever signings this summer to have the Foxes competing in the top-half once again next year.

With Iborra all-but secured, and with Football Italia reporting that a move for Sassuolo striker Gregoire Defrel is also now approaching on the horizon, it’s exciting times to be a Leicester City fan once again.

Featured Image: All rights reserved by Chao 1989.

Will is a Multimedia Journalism graduate from the University of Salford, specialising in the art of sports. Long-time suffering Northampton Town fan who once saw us win a league title. Find him on Twitter - @96PearsonW.

Leicester City

Leicester would regret replacing Claude Puel in summer overhaul



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.

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Leicester City

West Ham and Leicester should pounce for Stoke’s Xherdan Shaqiri



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One player certain to be on the move this summer is Stoke City midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri, who will put an end to an unhappy spell at the bet365 Stadium, but could still stay in the Premier League to West Ham or Leicester.

Sky Bet offer odds as low as 1/10 that Shaqiri will depart this summer, with West Ham the leading Premier League club in the betting at 8/1 and Leicester City not far behind at 10/1.

That’s not to say that a stay in England is certain, particularly given that the two Milan clubs are favourites with Inter at 6/1 and AC Milan at 13/2, with Lyon also in the running at 8/1 level with the Hammers.

(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The winger has not hidden his disappointment with the team’s struggles this season and the Potters now face an uphill battle if they are to avoid relegation from the top flight.

The Swiss international will not entertain the idea of playing second tier football after a decorated career has previously seen him play for the likes of Bayern Munich and Inter Milan.

Having failed to live up to expectations since Mark Hughes brought him to England in 2015, he may be keen to make the move abroad, but with finances likely to be more attractive to remain in the Premier League he may not rule out such a move.

Leicester could be forced to sign a replacement for Riyahd Mahrez whilst West Ham will also be looking for options out wide when Joao Mario’s loan spell comes to an end.

His pace, power and strength could catch the eye of both sides but they will have their work cut out to convince him to remain in England this summer.

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Leicester City

Tottenham would be the perfect move for Leicester star Demarai Gray



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Having failed in their bid to bring Demarai Gray to Wembley for the 2017/18 season, Tottenham could be reigniting the interest in the hope of signing the young winger ahead of their move to New White Hart Lane.

Reports originating from ESPN say that Spurs are looking to sign the England under 21 captain after Leicester City refused to do business for the former Birmingham man in the past.

Gray’s form has not been as convincing as some may have hoped for this season, with just four goals and three assists from 39 appearances in all competitions, but that has not put Daniel Levy and company off.

(Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

Demarai Gray has found his game time limited of late, despite only missing three Premier League games to date this season. Since the turn of the year, the winger has made only four starts for the Foxes and may relish an opportunity to be trusted more regularly, particularly at a club like Tottenham.

Working under Mauricio Pochettino would undoubtedly be a huge draw given his reputation for developing young players. That is believed to be key to his interest in Gray, who could follow in the footsteps of the likes of Eric Dier and Dele Alli in joining the club and going on to become regulars in the Premier League and for England.

Leicester will not be keen to part ways with one of their most exciting young talents and will command a huge price, which may put Levy off, but there are few English players in his age range with such potential and if anyone could justify such a fee, it may well be Gray.

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