Leicester City have received a potentially significant boost in their pursuit of West Bromwich Albion midfielder Matheus Pereira.
The Foxes are amongst several Premier League clubs who have been credited with an interest in the 25-year-old magician this summer, with Crystal Palace, Leeds United and Aston Villa also thought to be on his signature.
And according to BirminghamLive, West Brom have given the clearest indication yet that Pereira will depart the Hawthorns over the coming months after agreeing to leave Pereira out of their squad for their remaining warm-up matches after he missed their first three amid speculation over his future.
Despite the Baggies being stuck in the relegation zone for much of 2020/21, Pereira excelled throughout his maiden top-flight campaign, bagging 11 goals and providing six assists in 33 appearances.
Pereira’s one-man show at times last season caught the eye of numerous onlookers, including BBC pundit and former Everton midfielder Leon Osman, who praised his set-piece delivery.
“It’s a wonderful corner. We’ve seen Matheus Pereira try this a few times. He tries to find it under the crossbar, inside the goal frame, to see if anyone gets on the end of it,” said Osman.
“Matt Phillips made himself a handful for the goalkeeper, but it’s a wonderful delivery from Pereira.”
And, after a superb display against Aston Villa, BBC Sport pundit Jermain Jenas said of the 25-year-old: “He’s just silky. When he’s on it, he’s just got that lovely left-foot, (tucked) his penalty away, the delivery into the box for set-pieces was brilliant, and he wanted to showcase his skills.”
A recent report in the Express & Star claimed that West Brom are set to demand around £30m for their prized asset, and he would provide a significant upgrade on some of the current options available to Brendan Rodgers at the King Power Stadium.
Both Dennis Praet and Ayoze Perez have been linked with moves away from Leicester in recent weeks, and replacing the duo with Pereira would see the FA Cup holders increase the strength in depth of their first-team squad.
After the pair enjoyed relatively successful first campaigns with the Midlands outfit, they both struggled to make an impact last term.
Belgium international Praet contributed to just two Premier League goals throughout 2020/21, while Perez only bettered his teammates tally by one, falling way below Pereira’s standards despite playing in a far more successful side.
It remains to be seen whether the Leicester hierarchy follow up their interest in the Brazilian playmaker with a concrete offer, but it’s clear he would provide a much-needed boost to Rodgers’ hopes of achieving a top-four finish next season.
And, with James Maddison being linked with an exit to Arsenal, Pereira come in and instantly be his successor at the King Power.
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