Leicester City are close to completing the signing of Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare, just days after he secured the Ligue 1 title.
What’s the story?
According to Sky Sports, the Foxes are set to complete an £18 million deal for the 22-year-old after his compatriot Wesley Fofana convinced him to make a move to the Midlands outfit.
The report states that contractual details are yet to be finalised and that Soumare will first compete for France in the U21s Euros before confirming any transfer.
Fans will be buzzing
Soumare has been a long-term target for Brendan Rodgers’ side, who are keen to bolster their ranks after narrowly missing out on a Champions League qualification spot for the second consecutive campaign.
It appears as though Leicester have finally got their man, with just the formalities left to be completed, and the club’s supporters will surely be buzzing to learn of his imminent arrival.
The Frenchman made 32 league appearances for Christophe Galtier’s side as they spectacularly dethroned Paris Saint-Germain to secure their first top-flight in 10 years.
Although Soumare rarely grabs the headlines, scoring just once in 112 appearances for Lille, his influence over the team can be felt in many other ways.
Lille’s former CEO, Marc Ingla, described him as “a powerful and technical player who can evolve to several positions in the field” upon his arrival at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy back in 2017, and he has certainly lived up to that billing.
Soumare has drawn comparisons to ex-Manchester City man Yaya Toure in the past thanks to his lung-bursting drives through the centre of the park, but he’s much more than just an impressive athlete.
The youngster is extremely comfortable and competent with the ball at his feet and boasts an impressive passing range, attributes that should ensure a smooth transition in Rodgers’ system.
Adding a natural box-to-box midfielder to Leicester’s already impressive trio of Wilfried Ndidi, Youri Tielemans and James Maddison is extremely clever business from the Foxes’ hierarchy, and their impressive record in the transfer window looks set to continue.