Leicester City’s transfer plans have suffered a potential blow after it was revealed that Newcastle United are also keen on signing Schalke defender Ozan Kabak.
What’s the story?
The 21-year-old impressed during a six-month loan spell at Liverpool last season, however, the Reds decided not to take up their option to buy the Turkey international for £18 million.
Now though, Kabak is the subject of interest from Premier League sides Leicester and Newcastle, according to German outlet Bild.
Rodgers will be gutted
Brendan Rodgers’ charges have been linked with a move for Kabak for several weeks as the Northern Irish manager looks to strengthen his first-team squad over the summer.
The departure of experienced defenders Wes Morgan and Christian Fuchs means the Midlands outfit need to bolster their backline over the coming months, with a Europa League campaign on the horizon.
After a shaky start to his Liverpool career – ironically against Leicester – Kabak grew in confidence after each game for the Anfield outfit, receiving a very respectable 6.72 WhoScored rating from his nine Premier League outings.
His solid displays earned praise from Jurgen Klopp as the 19-time English champions clawed themselves back into a Champions League qualification spot.
“Ozan came in at 20 from Germany, was a big prospect but wasn’t lucky with the last two teams he played for; one went down (Stuttgart), and the other will probably go down (Schalke). But nobody really doubted his quality,” said Klopp.
However, with the likes of Jonny Evans, Wesley Fofana and Caglar Soyuncu potentially ahead of Kabak at the King Power Stadium, the promise of first-team football may be enough to persuade the £22.5m-rated centre-back to join Newcastle instead of moving to the King Power.
The Magpies recovered from a disastrous run of form in the middle of the campaign to win five of their final nine league games, and Steve Bruce is looking to build on their end-of-season momentum in the transfer market.
News that one of his key transfer targets may be poached by a domestic rival, one who may be a more attractive proposition due to the game time on offer, will surely leave Rodgers feeling gutted as he attempts to build a squad capable of breaking into the top-flight’s top four.