With Leicester City seemingly close to sealing what would be a famous Premier League title triumph, attention will soon turn towards the summer transfer window and an ensuing struggle.
Naturally, they can expect a huge battle to keep their star players away from the so-called elite clubs. Jamie Vardy, N’Golo Kante and Riyad Mahrez have all performed incredibly well and are likely to attract big offers when the season ends.
However, former Foxes star Matt Elliott believes one of the most-wanted men at the King Power Stadium is not a football player at all, but chief scout Steve Walsh.
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The 51-year-old has been behind some of Leicester's major transfer successes and is credited with playing a part in bringing each of the aforementioned trio (Vardy, Kante, Mahrez) to the club.
His work has not gone unnoticed, especially by Arsenal, who by Elliott's reckoning are desperate to add Walsh to their vast scouting network in the near future.
Speaking to Goal, Elliott claimed: "Claudio Ranieri has brought with him a feel good factor. He hasn’t come in and swept the place clean with a new broom, but he could see by the run at the end of last season that there were a lot of positives and added to it.
“His recruitment of staff has been first class. Steve Walsh, for instance, has been a massive influence. Arsenal are desperate to have him on their staff and he’s just as much in demand as any of our players."
Arsenal have already raided Leicester's scout team this season, convincing their head of technical scouting, Ben Wrigglesworth, to make the move to north London in January.
Wrigglesworth said on Twitter: "After three-and-a-half unbelievable seasons, working with amazing people, I am now starting a new chapter. It was a very difficult decision, leaving Leicester, but I had to take an opportunity that doesn't come around often.
"I only wish the best for Leicester in the future, and will be eternally grateful to them for getting me to where I am."
However, doing the same with Elliott will be a much tougher task. Leicester value Walsh so highly that they put a £1million release clause in his contract last year. Not only that but Walsh himself appears to be settled at the club and has been working on summer transfer targets since January.
With money from Champions League in the pipeline, Walsh can expect to be given permission to start recommending much higher profile targets presently.
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