In the past two seasons, Leicester City have consolidated themselves as one of the best sides in the country. Under the helm of Brendan Rodgers, the Foxes have developed a fluid system that gets the best out of their attackers and also gives them strength in depth defensively. After two consecutive fifth-place finishes, Rodgers will be keen to see his side progress into those Champions League places in the 21/22 campaign. But to take that next step up they will need a few more additions. They have already signed Ryan Bertrand, Patson Daku and Boubakary Soumare in this window so far, but who else are they interested in? We’ve scoured the latest Leicester transfer rumours to bring you five possible signings.
Leicester transfer rumours: 5 targets this summer
Daniel James (Manchester United)
The arrival of Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund looks like it has lowered the chances of Daniel James getting regular game time at Manchester United next season. Therefore, the next logical move for the Welshman is to look for a loan elsewhere or take the dive and transfer to a new club completely. The latest transfer rumours, however, suggest that he is of interest to Leicester City, who have recently sold their right winger Cengiz Under.
James is a pacey forward who loves to run in behind and stretch teams, his acceleration and balance makes him a real handful for defenders. Since joining from Swansea City in 2019, the 23-year-old hasn’t managed to hold down a regular spot in the Red Devils’ first team. He started eleven games last season and made four appearances from the bench, scoring three and assisting one in an underwhelming campaign for the winger.
A move elsewhere would give James a chance to recapture his form. He is capable of moments of brilliance going forward and his pace would be an asset to most teams, but he needs regular minutes and won’t get that at Old Trafford. A move on loan to Leicester with an option to buy could be the best possible deal for both James and Leicester, it would allow Rodgers to try and help him bounce back to form and, if so, secure him permanently.
Matheus Pereira (West Brom)
Matheus Pereira is far too good to be playing Championship football next season. The Brazilian is currently a West Brom player, but potential suitors are circling like sharks around him and it is only a matter of time before a club offers the Baggies their asking price. Leicester need another attacking option in midfield and Pereira would fit the bill.
The former Sporting CP midfielder was the bright spark amongst a poor side last season, scoring 11 goals and assisting six in 33 appearances. The 25-year-old would be a different option to James Maddison in the attacking midfielder role, notably being left-footed. Maddison is better at keeping the ball ticking and fuelling counter-attacks, whereas Pereira is the type to craft a chance out of nothing and drive the ball forward.
West Brom reportedly want £30million for Pereira, which would give them the funds to reinvest and become a more solid squad all-round. That figure isn’t out of the reach of Leicester and if he was a Premier League player then Sam Allardyce’s club would probably demand double that so one could view it as a cut-price deal. The versatility of the Brazilian would give Rodgers plenty of cover elsewhere too, with his dribbling ability and willingness to take on an opponent allowing him to play out wide when required.
Ozan Kabak (Schalke)
When Liverpool were in desperate need of central defenders in the heart of their injury crisis, Ozan Kabak was their short-term fix and the Turkish international could be playing Premier League football again next season. Leicester are in the process of agreeing on the signing of Kabak from Schalke in what shouldn’t be too much of a bank-breaking deal.
The 2015/16 winners are in need of another central defender, they only have three on their books at the moment (Wesley Fofana, Caglar Soyuncu and Jonny Evans) which isn’t enough for a team that often plays a 3-5-2.
Kabak improved with game time at Anfield, making a shaky start but then becoming a useful option for Jurgen Klopp. The 21-year-old has good potential and already has experience in European tournaments under his belt. He is good in the air, powerful and a leader, time spent in the dressing room with international teammate Soyuncu could improve him massively.
Schalke offered Kabak to Liverpool for £9million in the transfer window but the Merseyside did not accept and previous transfer rumours suggested Leicester have offered the Bundesliga club £1million less for the defender.
Domenico Berardi (Sassuolo)
It is no secret that Leicester want to strengthen out wide. Last season, before injury cut his good form short, Harvey Barnes provided so much for Rodgers down the left and the former Liverpool manager will be keen to have as strong a threat down the right in the upcoming campaign. Domenico Berardi was sensational for Sassuolo in the Serie A last season and for £35million, he could make the jump to the Premier League.
Berardi, who made six appearances at Euro 2021, was one of the brightest sparks in Italy’s top-flight last season, scoring 17 and assisting seven in 30 appearances. The 26-year-old often plays out wide on the right-wing, cutting on to his lethal left foot in dangerous areas and often having a pop from range – Arjen Robben style. Although rarely moved off of his preferred right side at club level, under Roberto Mancini for Italy, Berardi was given the freedom to roam across the front line and press high, similar to how he will play under Rodgers if he heads to the King Power Stadium.
If Rodgers does opt to dip into his transfer budget and spend a significant amount on a winger then there may not be a better available option than Berardi. As a natural goalscorer, he would also lift some of the weight that Jamie Vardy bares as the club’s most regular name on the scoresheet.
Phillipe Coutinho (Barcelona)
Leicester aren’t usually a side that make a marquee signing, however, the transfer rumours that they are interested in Phillipe Coutinho just won’t go away. Barcelona need to sell some of their most valuable assets and despite not being a valuable player for them, Coutinho is costly wage-wise. However, the La Liga side are willing to accept a cheap but reasonable offer for the Brazilian, which could interest Leicester.
Coutinho signed for Barcelona in 2016 for an almighty £142million, but he has failed to justify that triple-figure price tag ever since. The playmaker was superb for Liverpool previously, picking the ball up in tight spaces and using his neat footwork to bamboozle defenders and create opportunities for himself and teammates. Sadly, that confidence and flair was lost after several injuries to the 29-year-old.
The best years of Coutinho’s career were spent under the management of Rodgers at Liverpool, who gave him the freedom to do as he pleased in the final third, and back under his watchful eye could reignite his career. If James Maddison leaves for Arsenal, as rumours suggest he might, then Coutinho could be seen as his replacement.
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