Jose Mourinho and Chelsea are set to be shocked by Croatian forward Andrej Kramaric, as the youngster is set to opt for a move to Leicester City instead, according to sources.
The Daily Express, citing a radio station based in Rijeka, carries reports that instead of getting ready to pack his bags with Stamford Bridge on the horizon, Kramaric is preparing to surprise Mourinho by option for Nigel Pearson’s struggling Foxes. Leicester went on a woeful six game losing streak prior to their last three matches and are currently sitting rooted to the bottom of the Premier League table.
Unusual turn of events
Yet it’s believed that Kramaric is ready to risk a move to Pearson’s side as he’s been promised that he will be sold if they are relegated to the Championship. Naturally the 23-year-old is wary about making his big move only to drop off the radar in England’s second tier, but that isn’t tipped to make him choose Chelsea, as was initially presumed.
At one point it was said to be almost guaranteed that he would linking up with Mourinho’s camp before being loaned to Leicester for the remainder of the season. Reports suggested that he would take Didier Drogba’s place from the summer onward, with both Loic Remy and Diego Costa having far more pedigree at the highest level than the Rijeka man.
However the radio station in question is of the opinion that instead Kramaric is on his way to Leicester for a figure of around £9.5 million, with a contract worth £1.15 million-a-year waiting for him when he does so.
If that’s the case then Mourinho may have to look at other options, since it’s been made clear that he is indeed eyeing another frontman for his squad.
"Andrej Kramaric has travelled to London with his father and agent Joza Kramaric along with Rijeka's Managing Director Ivan Mance, where he will have the last round of negotiations with Leicester City.
"If nothing changes until tonight or early tomorrow, Kramaric should sign a five-year contract, with a transfer fee of €12m (£9.5m) to be paid to Rijeka.
"That offer was sent two weeks ago but was refused by Kramaric as he wanted to sign for a stronger side than Leicester. After a couple of meetings with Rijeka's Chairman Damir Miskovic, Kramaric has changed his mind and agreed to Leicester City's offer.
"That offer was sent two weeks ago but was refused by Kramaric as he wanted to sign for a stronger side than Leicester. After a couple of meetings with Rijeka's Chairman Damir Miskovic, Kramaric has changed his mind and agreed to Leicester City's offer"
"Reports state his salary will be close to €1.5m (£1.15m) per season and also say Leicester City will be prepared to sell him in the summer window should they get relegated from the Premier League."
Whilst the aforementioned Costa has had no problem finding the net Remy hasn’t been so fortunate - most probably as a product of sitting on the bench to accommodate his teammate.
Plans for the future
Though he’s content for now the France international may begin to think about moving elsewhere for guaranteed game time soon, and perhaps that outcome has worked it’s way into Mourinho’s plans.
Meanwhile Drogba is more than likely to hang up his boots at the end of the campaign in favour of becoming a coach, and it makes sense to assume The Special One has plans to replace him with a far more youthful model.