Leicester City have been linked with a move for Lazio midfielder Luis Alberto as manager Brendan Rodgers looks to add further reinforcements to his first-team squad.
According to Spanish outlet Fichajes (as relayed by the Leicester Mercury), the Foxes are interested in securing the highly-rated 29-year-old’s services as they plan for life without James Maddison and Youri Tielemans.
The report states that Alberto would arrive at the King Power Stadium as a replacement for either Maddison or Tielemans should one of Leicester’s prized assets depart next summer, allowing the Midlands outfit to continue their recent progress.
With four years remaining on his current contract at the Stadio Olimpico, though, the Spaniard would command a sizeable transfer fee, meaning director of football Jon Rudkin would have to use all of his negotiating skills to agree a satisfactory deal.
Alberto rose through the ranks at boyhood club Sevilla before spending a season on loan with Barcelona B and then moving to Liverpool in 2013.
His arrival on Merseyside was warmly welcomed by current Leicester boss Rodgers, who was in charge of the Anfield outfit at the time, and the now 48-year-old likened him to Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho.
“He’s another Coutinho-type,” Rodgers told talkSPORT (as relayed by Goal). “We brought in young Philippe Coutinho in January when he was 20, but he had good experience and, more importantly, fit the profile of what we’re trying to do here and what we’re trying to build.
“Young Luis is exactly the same – a talented, very highly rated young player when he was at Sevilla but obviously spent last season at Barcelona B.”
The two players had extremely contrasting spells during their time at Liverpool, however. While Coutinho went on to establish himself as one of the Premier League’s star performers, Alberto made just 12 appearances for the Reds, failing to score a single goal.
Loan spells at Malaga and Deportivo de la Coruna saw mixed success, earning a move to Lazio in August 2016.
Since arriving in Italian football, Alberto has showcased the potential that convinced Rodgers to sign him in the first place, bagging 36 goals and providing a further 51 assists in 182 appearances for the capital club, winning the Italian Cup along the way.
Whether Rudkin makes a formal offer for the £40.5m-rated forward remains to be seen, but the Leicester supporters will surely be buzzing at the latest revelation as Alberto’s return to English shores would be a significant coup for the Midlands outfit.