Leicester Transfer Update: Likely Foxes ins and outs

The transfer window is now open and it is likely to be a busy time for Leicester City. Here, we look at the possible incomings and outgoings.
Wilfred Ndidi: Will he be staying after all?
Wilfred Ndidi: Will he be staying after all? / Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/GettyImages

It is vital for the Foxes to strengthen their squad as they prepare for what is likely to be a tough season back in the top-flight. Normally, a promoted club - newly awash with Premier League millions - will focus on incomings. Unusually, though, Leicester will be faced with significant financial constraints and the outgoings may well be more significant.


What we can say for definite is that three first team squad players – Dennis Praet, Kelechi Iheanacho and Marc Albrighton - will be leaving at the end of their contracts. It has been widely thought that Wilfred Ndidi has been offered new terms at the King Power but has rejected them and is likely to join Premier League rivals Everton. However, as FoL today reported, this may be premature and the renewal of his Leicester contract is now back on the agenda. 

I’m in two minds about the prospect of Ndidi’s possible departure. Yes, he has bags of Premier League experience, and he contributed well last season in an unfamiliar role. However, it is questionable whether he can repeat the trick at a higher level. Steve Cooper might want to reinstate the midfielder in his customary number six role but then what does he do with Harry Winks who played in that position with such distinction in the Championship?

The harsh reality is that, in order to comply with football’s financial regulations, it is likely that further player departures will be necessary. To fully assess that claim it is necessary to understand the nature of the financial constraints. In order to fulfil the terms of the EFL’s rules Leicester will have to raise a considerable amount of money by the end of this month. However, with July rapidly approaching, it looks like the club have decided to risk breaching these regulations in the expectation that the penalty will be a fine. At the moment, the EFL does not have the jurisdiction to deduct points from clubs in the Premier League. 

By contrast, there is nothing the club can do now about the EPL’s charge relating to the three-year cycle ending with the 2022/23 season (except employ good lawyers to challenge it). The Foxes also, though, have to avoid another charge relating to the forthcoming season. However, there is more leeway here and a reduction in the club’s bloated wage bill might suffice without the need to raise transfer income.

The easy way out for the club would be to sell Kiernan Dewsbury Hall. As is well-documented, this is the best option for the club (financially at least) because, as an academy graduate, the transfer fee receive would represent pure profit. Brighton and Brentford are said to be interested. Selling a host of peripheral players – Danny Ward, Daniel Iversen, Harry Souttar, Boubakary Soumare and Victor Kristiansen among them – will not raise as much but would reduce the wage bill. Iversen is being linked with a move to Derby on loan and Souttar, so it is said, has his devotees at Glasgow Rangers. There may be some surprise exits too. Wout Faes, for instance, has been linked with, believe it or not, Barcelona and Kasey McAteer has his admirers too. 


Foxes fans, naturally, are more interested in who will be arriving at the King Power stadium. There will be some disappointment here I suspect. Steve Cooper has sought to set the agenda by declaring that Leicester already has a strong squad. Who the club tries to get will be dependent upon who leaves and the costs involved. 

Midfield looks the area of the team in most need of strengthening with Praet and Yunus Akgun no longer at the club. This need will, of course, be heightened if Ndidi and Dewsbury Hall also depart. Cooper may offer Soumare the chance to re-start his career at the King Power. Four other midfield players have been linked with Leicester. First, there is a widely-reported interest in 21-year old Fabio Carvalho. He is out of the picture at Anfield and did impress on loan at Hull last season, scoring against the Foxes at the MKM Stadium. Another possibility is Newcastle’s Sean Longstaff who is in the final year of his contract at St. James’ Park. Third, a move for Manchester City’s James McAtee is a possibility. He was a shining light on loan at Sheffield United last season, a club he joined despite Enzo Maresca’s desire to sign him at the start of the season. Finally, Birmingham City’s Jordan James is another player, it is said, is of interest to the Foxes.

There will also be a need to bolster central defence if Souttar and/or Faes leaves. The Foxes have been linked with Joe Rodon who hasn’t had a look-in at Spurs and spent last season on loan at Elland Road. This seems like one of the more reliable rumours. Not only is it possible Leicester will need another centre back but Rodon is well known by Cooper who managed him whilst at Swansea. Significantly, too, the financial outlay would be minimal if he arrives at the King Power on a loan deal.

Finally, the departure of Iheanacho leaves a space in the forward line. Jamie Vardy will not be able to start every match and that leaves Patson Daka and Tom Cannon as the only other options. A possible new arrival is Daniel Jebbison, a young striker currently at Sheffield United. More fanciful are the rumours linking the Foxes with Tammy Abrahams, currently out of favour at Roma. That move is unlikely to happen, not least because of the costs involved.

In the end, Leicester fans should be delighted if the club manages to hold on to its top performers, with one or two cheap additions coming in. Whether that will be enough to keep us in the Premier League is, of course, an entirely different matter.