Despite many not giving Leicester City the slightest chance of retaining their title, the Premier League champions haven’t been resting on their laurels this summer.
In fact, Claudio Ranieri’s men have already broken their transfer record twice over the course of the window in pursuit of improvement. Moreover, they’ve miraculously ensured Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy will remain on their books this season.
Not settling for this however, the Foxes are on the brink of sealing a blockbuster £48 million double transfer deal. This time it’s Sporting Lisbon duo Adrien Silva and Islam Slimani in the champions’ sights and a deal is imminent.
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While many factors culminated in Leicester’s improbable rise to league glory, their shrew business in the transfer window undoubtedly played its part.
Albeit low-key at the time, the captures of Christian Fuchs, Shinji Okazaki and N’Golo Kante proved strokes of genius.
Consequently, Ranieri has been keen to recreate this Midas touch in this year’s transfer window. With Champions League football now on Leicester’s plate, they’ve had substantial currency to throw at players.
This has been demonstrated in the raids for Nampalys Mendy, Ahmed Musa and, soon to include, Silva and Slimani.
Firstly, Silva looks poised to set back the champions around £19 million. The current Sporting skipper would consequently be the latest attempt by Ranieri to freshen up a midfield now void of Kante.
According to The Daily Mail, the 27-year-old, who featured for Portugal at Euro 2016, stated: "I can confirm a proposal has been made. The sporting design of Leicester is very interesting and corresponds to my career goals.
"After 15 years at Sporting, this opportunity is something exceptional for me and could allow me to play in the Premier League, which is a stunning league.
"The president assured me that after so many years of dedication he will not put obstacles to my professional development if an interesting proposal for both parties was made."
Algerian forward Slimani would then complete the deal with Leicester being forced to part with a hearty £29 million. It would see the King Power Stadium outfit shatter their transfer record by almost two fold.
However, it’s this half of the double raid that proves the stumbling block with Sporting set to demand £35 million for the 28-year-old. Given his record of 57 goals in 109 outings for Verdes e Brancos, holding out for such a fee is understandable.
Nonetheless, with the transfer window just two days away from its climax, it proves a bold and expensive tactic from Ranieiri.
Nevertheless, if Leicester are to compete in Europe and back amongst the English juggernauts domestically, such investments may be necessary. No matter how the signings turn out though, you can’t fault the Foxes for their unrelenting ambition.
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