With all the statistics suggesting Leicester are heading for a top-four place, manager Claudio Ranieri is working behind the scenes to create a squad capable of dealing with European football next season.
The Foxes boss has stated publicly that hitting the 40-point barrier has been Leicester’s sole aim this season, but with that now achieved, the Italian can begin looking what else his team can achieve.
Only once has a team who sat top at Christmas failed to go on and claim a top-four spot come the season’s end, and thus it’s understandable Ranieri will have one eye on next season and a potential campaign on the continent.
In order to do so, Leicester will need to bolster one of the smaller squads in the Premier League, and Nigel de Jong is one player who has been linked with a move to the east Midlands for some time.
It is reported this week that in a bid to entice the former Manchester City man to the King Power stadium, Leicester are offering a £1m bonus to De Jong’s current employers AC Milan should they reach the Champions League.
That’s in addition to an initial transfer fee of £2m for the 31-year-old, who would bring a wealth of European experience to the club.
De Jong has only played a handful of times for i Rossoneri this term, and Leicester would also like to bring the Dutchman onboard should Gokhan Inler depart, with Schalke looking a likely destination.
Inler has struggled to oust Danny Drinkwater and N’Golo Kante in a direct battle of three central midfielders, whereas De Jong’s much more defensive nature would give Ranieri extra flexibility when tinkering a campaign on domestic and European fronts.
The Foxes are 11/10 to finish in the top four this season, and the addition of a Premier League winning midfielder – who has also played in a World Cup final would only serve to boost Leicester’s chances of securing what would be an incredible achievement.
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