Leicester City and Barcelona are going head-to-head to sign a player.
Two years ago, that sentence had never been typed before. One year ago, it was an unlikely scenario.
But having achieved the impossible by winning the Premier League, Leicester are now in a position to compete for Europe’s best talents.
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One such talent they want to sign is AS Roma starlet Antonio Sanabria, according to Sport.
The Spanish paper claim the Foxes have made a “significant financial offer” for the 20-year-old, but they face competition from Barcelona.
And, though Leicester might be a fun project to be a part of, Sport claim Sanabria would prefer to join the La Liga champions, a club he has ties to.
The Paraguay international played in Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy and even represented the first team before leaving for Sassuolo in January 2014.
He didn’t last very long, joining Serie A outfit Roma six months later. The Italian club loaned him out to Sporting Gijon last August and he quickly made his mark, scoring a hat-trick against Las Palmas in December.
€13 million price tag
Sport believe a bid of €13 million will be enough to sign Sanabria, who has dreams of returning to “home” (Barcelona).
Still, Leicester shouldn’t give up hope. Especially given that 24-goal hitman Jamie Vardy looks set to join Premier League rivals Arsenal.
If Claudio Ranieri really wants to sign Sanabria, he can use some or all of the £20 million Leicester will make in the Arsenal deal to sign the 20-year-old.
Barcelona are confident that Sanabria will be a suitable backup to Luis Suarez. At 29, the Uruguayan probably has three or four more seasons left before his powers begin to noticeably wane.
Leicester want a striker
Fellow La Liga outfits Valencia, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid are reported to have shown interest in Sanabria, but not to the extent that Leicester or Barcelona have.
If either club was desperate to sign the forward, it certainly would have been in their best interests to complete the deal before Copa America. If Sanabria enjoys a good tournament for Paraguay, attention will increase and his price will soar.
It’s no surprise that Leicester are being linked with strikers since news broke on Friday of Arsenal’s interest in signing Vardy. Speculation has moved at a rapid pace and it is believed that the decision now rests in the England international’s hands.
According to The Sun, the Foxes are chasing Sporting Lisbon forward Islam Slimani.
The Algerian, worth around £11m, scored 27 goals last term as Sporting narrowly missed out on the Portuguese title.