Leicester City are set to receive a significant boost over the coming days after it was revealed that Harvey Barnes has agreed terms on a new contract.
According to The Athletic journalist David Ornstein, the 23-year-old is expected to commit his future to the Foxes following his return to fitness, putting pen to paper on a “vastly improved” deal after a string of standout displays.
His report read: “Barnes’ existing terms do not expire until 2024, but his rise to prominence is set to be rewarded with a fresh four-year deal that Leicester are likely to confirm once the details have been finalised.”
Ornstein also claims that Premier League giants Liverpool are admirers of the pacey winger. However, although there is concrete interest from the Anfield outfit, no formal offers have arrived.
News that Barnes is on the verge of signing a new contract, keeping him at the King Power Stadium for many years to come, should certainly leave Leicester supporters feeling delighted.
The academy graduate has improved dramatically over the last couple of campaigns under the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers, becoming one of the club’s most important players.
After an impressive loan spell at Championship outfit West Bromwich Albion in the first half of the 2018/19 campaign, Barnes was recalled to his boyhood club early. He initially struggled to adapt to life in the top flight, though, contributing to just three goals in 16 appearances in the remainder of the season.
However, Barnes’ fortunes flipped in stunning fashion following his settling-in period. Since the beginning of 2019/20, the £31.5m-rated gem has scored 20 goals and provided 13 assists in 79 appearances for the Midlands outfit.
His impressive performances earned him a call-up into Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the first time in August 2020 when he made his debut – and only appearance to date – against Wales as a late substitute.
As a result, Barnes was widely tipped to make it into the final 26-man squad for Euro 2020 until a serious knee injury ended the youngster’s season prematurely, ruling him out of the tournament.
By tying down one of their star performers to a new, long-term deal, Leicester will be hoping to send a message to their more affluent domestic rivals about their new-found ambition and status within the game.
Key players have frequently departed the current FA Cup holders for one of English footballs ‘Big Six’ in recent years, but Rodgers and the Foxes’ fans will be eager for this statement of intent to showcase how they can no longer cherry-pick their top talent.