Leicester City are making moves to bolster a squad ahead of a campaign where the Foxes will be thrust back to reality after a fairytale few years.
After winning the Premier League and reaching the quarter-finals of the Champions League last season, where they stood as British football’s last representative in Europe’s elite competition, the Foxes sole focus this term will be securing a top-half finish.
With key players like Riyad Mahrez linked with an exit, a transitional season is likely to occur and boss Craig Shakespeare faces a challenge to keep his squad competitive- but it appears a significant signing is now imminent.
Sky Sports reports that the Foxes have agreed a deal in principle to sign Kelechi Iheanacho from Manchester City, as the Nigerian striker has fallen down the pecking order in Pep Guardiola’s side following the arrival of Gabriel Jesus in January.
The highly-rated 20-year-old, who will hope to feature for his nation at the World Cup next summer, is seeking a move that will hand him regular first-team football and a partnership could be crafted with Jamie Vardy.
How expensive is a deal?
According to the reports, a fee for the Nigerian could rise to as much as £25m but a number of contractual issues still need to be resolved before a deal can be completed, including whether Manchester City will possess a buy-back clause that will allow Guardiola’s side to bring the Nigerian back to the Citizens in the future for a fixed price.
With Sergio Aguero’s importance at Manchester City dwindling, Iheanacho could still have a future at the Etihad Stadium and the Citizens want to ensure they have a route to bringing the striker back to the club- avoiding the issues that Chelsea and Manchester United had with Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku respectively.
Crucially, all parties are keen to get a deal done but Iheanacho also needs to resolve an issue on his image rights with a former agent before any contract can be signed, which means the saga surrounding the Nigerian striker could extend into August.