Having been rebuked by Watford in their pursuit of Troy Deeney, Leicester may need to start pursuing other options as they seek to bring a fourth striker to the King Power Stadium, with Juventus’ Simone Zaza one such alternative.
The Italian has been linked with a move to the Foxes this week, after Leicester’s £25m bid for Deeney was flatly turned down by Watford.
Zaza has been a Juve player for three seasons, but spent the first two impressing on a shared-ownership deal with Sassuolo as they established themselves as Serie A’s biggest underdog.
Handed his chance in Turin last season however, the 24-year-old found plenty of stiff competition for a spot in the first-team, making only 19 league appearances.
With Mario Mandzukic and Pablo Dyzuba the recognised strikers for the Old Lady, plus the potential return of Alvaro Morata from Real Madrid, Zaza could find himself out of the reckoning again next term.
And as Leicester continue to struggle in the search to bring in a fourth striker, the problems for both player and club could become each other’s answer.
At 6ft 1in and with excellent positional play, Zaza has plenty of attributes that would appeal to Ranieri, as he bids to lead Leicester into the Champions League as well as defend their Premier League title.
Valued at £9m by transfermarkt.co.uk, Leicester would need to wrestle the Italian international out of a contract with Juventus which runs until 2020, but if they’re prepared to spend £25m on Deeney it’s unlikely they’ll find Zaza’s asking price a problem.
The Foxes have been linked with a host of strikers – and a certain type of striker at that – as they look to provide support for Jamie Vardy, Shinji Okazaki and Leonardo Ulloa.
But as they find a dead end at seemingly every turn, will Zaza be the man to finally end their search?
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.