The dawn of a new transfer window is generally perceived as a dreaded curtain coming down on the chances of the minnows holding to the best players. For Leicester however, Champions League football awaits next term, but that won’t stop the big clubs in Europe circling their squad like ravenous vultures.
There’s a string of Leicester City players that will have put themselves firmly in the shop window when the season ends at the weekend and players fly off to the European Championships. Under the media spotlight, agents will revel in raising the profile, getting their clients column inches and potentially sealing them a multi-million pound move.
Already a star midfielder and virtual iron man, N’Golo Kante has refused to rule out a move away from the King Power. According to a news report by The Metro, London seems the most likely destination for the newly capped French international. Although, it has also been reported that Arsene Wenger is a big admirer of the assiduous Kante.
City’s midfield lynchpin will be on full show in France and as his national team are heavily favoured to do well in the tournament. Eyes will be on him throughout and if he performs, it’ll be hard to see how a move away from Leicester won’t happen.
Ryhad Mahrez will certainly feature heavily in transfer rumours this summer. Supposedly being courted by Barcelona, it would be hard for the Algerian international to turn down, arguably world football’s biggest team. Although, first team football may be a deciding factor in choosing an alternative destination if he were to leave the English champions.
Though, the tricky winger has gone on record saying that he wants to play in the Champions League with Leicester according to The Telegraph. However, whether this season’s PFA Player of the Year remains at the King Power will probably be determined by the amount of star players they lose this summer.
It would be a mistake for Mahrez to leave so soon. Betfair football columnist Andy Brassell pointed out in a recent article that Mahrez should allow Claudio Ranieri to guide him in the same way he did with James Rodriguez at Monaco. Under Ranieri the Colombian made huge improvements to his game and this is ultimately what secured him a move to Real Madrid. The 25-year-old Mahrez has plenty of time to move later on in his career, and with Champions League football next year, it would be the perfect platform for him to showcase his beguiling talents to a larger audience.
Out of Leicester’s big three, Vardy is the least likely to leave. He’s become somewhat of an institution at Leicester and it’s hard to see where he would go. The likelihood is at 29-years-old, he will earn a big contract on the back of this season and sign a long-term deal with the Foxes even if he sets the Euros alight with devastating pace.
The Rest of the Squad
There’s no denying the honesty of the Leicester squad – week in week out they have laid it all on the line and produced performances way above their ability. The likes of captain Wes Morgan, Robert Huth, Danny Simpson, Danny Drinkwater, Shinji Okazaki, Christian Fuchs and Kasper Schmeichel will all remain at the club. The only question is how much resource will Ranieri have to bolster his squad. Reports already suggest Ranieri is looking to add to his forward line in the form of Sporting Lisbon’s Islam Slimani who scored 26-goals for the club this term, according to The Guardian.
Ranieri will certainly need numbers to compete in next season’s Champions League. Also, bringing in some of Europe’s top talents could well help persuade Vardy, Kante, Mahrez et al. that Leicester City is the ideal club for them moving forward.