Leicester City have been linked with a shock move for Bologna defender Takehiro Tomiyasu as manager Brendan Rodgers looks to bolster his defensive options.
The Japan international has been the subject of heavy interest from fellow Premier League outfit Tottenham Hotspur throughout the summer, but the Foxes may now attempt to hijack the deal following Wesley Fofana’s injury, according to The Telegraph.
Previous reports have claimed Bologna are set to demand €25 million (£21.5m) for Tomiyasu, who is capable of playing at either centre-back or right-back.
Tomiyasu has established himself as one of Serie A’s most promising young defenders since arriving from Belgium outfit Sint-Truidense back in 2019, making 63 appearances for Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side in all competitions.
His impressive performances have caught the eye of several admirers, including current teammate Mitchell Dijks. The Dutch full-back dubbed his colleague a “warrior” in a previous press conference, and it’s easy to understand why.
As per WhoScored, Tomiyasu recorded an average of 1.5 tackles per league game last term, 1.7 interceptions and 0.6 blocks, placing him in the top three players at his club who made over three outings.
The youngster recently shone for his nation at the Tokyo Olympics in his homeland too and could be set to take the next step in his career over the coming weeks.
Leicester were believed to be in the market for a new central defender already following Wes Morgan’s retirement, but Fofana’s fractured fibula has now accelerated their search.
Tomiyasu’s versatility could be a huge bonus for the Foxes, making him an extremely attractive option for Rodgers. The Northern Irish tactician is currently without both James Justin and Timothy Castagne through fitness issues of their own, meaning the Asian defender could plug multiple gaps across the backline.
It remains to be seen whether director of football Jon Rudkin follows up his reported interest with a formal offer, but if the transfer budget allows, it’s certainly a move he should consider given the player’s flexibility, quality and potential.