Leicester ready to test Norwich’s resolve for Ireland hero
It seemed inconceivable that Leicester would be able to keep hold of all their Premier League-wining heroes, but despite losing N’Golo Kante to Chelsea last week, Claudio Ranieri is continuing to look onwards and upwards.
The Leicester boss is reportedly ready to launch an improved offer for Norwich City’s Robbie Brady, as the Foxes look to defend their Premier League title and begin a Champions League campaign.
Nampalys Mendy has already been signed from Nice to replace Kante, but the move for Brady signals Ranieri’s desire to ease the burden on Riyad Mahrez.
The Algerian missed just one Premier League game last term, and if the PFA Player of the Year is to retain his sharpness on domestic and European duty, it makes sense for the Foxes to find alternative options to lessen the pressure.
Brady is one such target, with the winger starring for the Republic of Ireland at this summer’s European Championships, netting versus Italy and France.
Leicester have already seen one offer rejected by the Canaries, who are preparing for a season in the Championship following relegation last season.
The 24-year-old is valued by transfermarkt.co.uk at a shade over £5m, but with a contract running until 2018, Norwich could hold out until they are happy with a fee, with £12m already mooted.
It seems Ranieri has one eye on the Irishman’s attacking talents, though the versatile player can also do a job at full-back.
Comfortable on either flank, a player like Brady would offer Ranieri numerous tactical options with a campaign in Europe to negotiate.
The Foxes are no strangers to picking up wingers other rivals may have overlooked, having turned around the careers of Marc Albrighton and Nathan Dyer.
It remains to be seen if Leicester can break Norwich’s resolve, while the same can also be said of the east Midlands club and Burnley’s Michael Keane.
Leicester have already seen the Lancashire side reject a £15m bid for the 23-year-old defender.
With just four weeks until the new season gets underway, Ranieri has plenty of business yet to complete.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.