Insert your own London bus-based pun here.
After £13 million Victor Kristiansen became Leicester City’s first permanent January signing since Fousseni Diabate all the way back in 2018, in came another; Brazilian winger Tete arriving from Shakhtar Donetsk following a brief but largely impressive stint across the Channel at Lyon.
The Foxes aren’t done there, either.
According to The Athletic, a £20 million bid has been lodged for Leeds United’s Jack Harrison. A £15 million offer was sent to Stoke City for Australia international centre-half Harry Souttar (Express).
Per SportItalia, Leicester are hoping to bring in Perr Schuurs from Torino, handing over former Granata loanee Dennis Praet as a makeweight. Schuurs would set the 2016 Premier League champions back around £25 million.
And then there’s Morten Hjulmand (Lecce), Ryan Kent (Rangers), and Nicolas Gonzalez (Fiorentina).
To put it simply, the Leicester squad could look very different when Brendan Rodgers’ side travel to Aston Villa next weekend. But, with Tete and Kristensen already through the door, which of Leicester’s many other targets are the most likely to arrive before Tuesday’s deadline?
Leicester City have big plans in the final hours of the transfer window
Jesse Marsch is determined to keep Harrison at Elland Road – describing him as an ‘incredible’ talent after that FA Cup screamer against Accrington Stanley. But now feels like as good a time as any for Leeds to cash in on a player who developed into one of the Premier League’s most prosperous widemen under Marcelo Bielsa.
Harrison is at his most effective on the left-hand side. Leeds now have a number of players capable of thriving on that flank, however; Crysencio Summerville, Luis Sinisterra and the outstanding Wilfried Gnonto. Big-money signing Georginio Rutter, meanwhile, was hugely effective off the left in the Bundesliga too.
Leeds, talkSPORT add, are likely to reject Leicester’s £20 million bid. It remains to be seen how much higher the Foxes are willing to go; Kristiansen and Tete already eating up about £16 million worth of Rodgers’ transfer budget.
Jack Harrison a top target
90Min add that Ryan Kent of Rangers is another on Leicester’s radar. Presumably a more affordable back-up option to Harrison, Kent’s contract expires next summer. The one-time Liverpool starlet, who Rodgers knows from his time in charge of Celtic, has found consistency and end product hard to come by over the last 12 months or so north of the border.
Leicester appear to have moved on from fellow winger Nicolas Gonzalez; Fiorentina rejecting their £25 million offer earlier in the window. Gonzalez, in comparison to Harrison and Kent, prefers to play off the right, cutting in onto his surgical left-boot. That, however, is the role Tete will now play at the King Power instead.
Further back, competition and depth is required both in central midfield and at centre-half. Daniel Amartey has spent pretty much the entirety of 2022/23 at centre-half due to Jonny Evans’ injury problems – with decidedly mixed results. Caglar Soyuncu, meanwhile, should join Atletico Madrid on a free transfer in the summer.
A case for the defence
Perr Schuurs is more expensive than Souttar, but may also be more attainable. Stoke City boss Alex Neil believes that Soutar is likely to stay put, insisting that it is ‘highly doubtful’ the 6ft 7ins colossus is sold with so little time to find a replacement.
Torino may be more inclined to let former Ajax prospect Schuurs go, however. Especially with former fan favourite Praet offered up in exchange.
Another Serie A ace, Denmark U21 international Morten Hjulmand, may have to wait until the summer to get a big-money move of his own; Leicester prioritising attackers and defenders rather than midfielders heading into the final 24 hours of the window.
Powerful and dynamic, Hjulmand would help reinforce a stalling Leicester engine room. Wilfried Ndidi is no longer the irrepressible force of old, while Boubakary Soumare is struggling to adapt to the speed of English football.
Youri Tielemans and Nampalys Mendy are both out of contract in July.