Leicester City have been handed a huge boost in their pursuit of Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare.
What’s the story?
The Foxes proposed deal for the 22-year-old powerhouse could be completed earlier than expected after France’s Under-21’s were surprisingly knocked out of the Euro’s by the Netherlands.
A Myron Boadu double saw off Sylvain Ripoll’s side in the quarter-final stage despite several star names such as Dayot Upemecano, Ibrahima Konate and Houssem Aouar making the France starting XI.
Rodgers will be delighted
Previous reports have revealed that an £18 million fee has been agreed between Lille and the FA Cup holders for Soumare, although contract details were expected to be completed after this summer’s tournament.
With France boasting an embarrassment of riches, they were expected to go all the way in the U21 Euros, delaying the youngster’s arrival at the King Power Stadium, but that will no longer be an issue.
The news will have delighted Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers, who is keen to strengthen his squad ahead of another top-four push in 2021/22 and now, if the signing can be completed in the near future, he should be able teo spend more time with Soumare in pre-season, which will obviously be hugely adventageous.
Just a single point separated the Midlands outfit and fourth-placed Chelsea in the recently concluded campaign, meaning Rodgers’ men missed out on a Champions League qualification spot by the narrowest of margins.
It’s the second consecutive season that that’s happened to the 2016 Premier League champions and a host of potential summer additions have been muted as their Northern Irish manager’s aims to break into the top-flight’s upper echelons at the third time of asking.
The addition of Soumare could have a potentially dramatic effect upon Leicester’s chances of doing just that, with the box-to-box midfielder continuously impressing throughout his 112 appearances for Les Dogues.
Marc Ingla, Lille’s former CEO, 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 four years ago, and he’s had no trouble living up to those expectations.
The Paris Saint-Germain academy graduate made 32 league appearances as Christophe Galtier’s side ended the capital club’s three-year dominance of French football, and Rodgers will be hoping Soumare can contribute to another giant-killing next season.