Leicester City have revived their interest in highly-rated Burnley defender Michael Keane and are plotting a £20m swoop in January, The Sun reports.
Having seen a bid rejected in the summer, Leicester City are not yet ready to give up on their chase for Burnley’s Michael Keane and will return in the January window with a £20m bid as they aim to increase the competitiveness within their squad.
The Foxes’ first-choice partnership of Wes Morgan and Robert Huth doesn’t really have any competition and the veteran pairing will be tested further in the second-half of the season, with Leicester set to continue their charge in the Champions League.
Having been brought into Gareth Southgate’s England squad, a move to a Champions League side would certainly help his claim to become a regular fixture for the national side and with Leicester set to advance to the knock-out stages, it could be the right move.
Leicester City aren’t alone in their interest for Michael Keane though, as Chelsea have been monitoring the player whilst The Mirror made Manchester United the favourites to resign the product of their youth academy.
It would take a brave man to guess where Keane will end up if he moves because all three of the suitors have positives and negatives to for the player’s future. With Chelsea and United, he wouldn’t get immediate Champions League football and first-team opportunities could be limited, whilst at Leicester his long-term European opportunities would be far less significant.
In the end, it all comes down to three factors – European football, playing opportunities and the long-term project at the club, with the latter potentially being Leicester’s undoing as it’s unlikely the Foxes will remain competitive in the coming years.
That’s debatable and Keane may be better advised on holding off on a transfer in order to seek a move to one of England’s big four. Leicester’s Premier League success last term was remarkable and their European venture this season has been magnificent but domestically they’ve been poor.
Sat 14th in the table, just two points off the relegation zone, Leicester are currently adrift of Burnley. Whilst that will surely level out over the course of the season, it seems likely that both sides will finish around midtable.
With regular football at Burnley, the only real incentive on offer is Champions League football and that could be over in the blink of an eye come the knockouts, depending who the Foxes draw. Therefore, it would probably be wise to hang fire for the moment.
There are two factors that effect Keane’s price-tag – his ability and the fact he’s a home-grown player. At just 23, the stats suggest the England international is actually rather underrated in the top-flight.
He leads the list of Premier League defenders with the most clearances (107) and most headed clearances (78), whilst being joint-top of the shots blocked ranking with 21. In modern day football, a defender’s responsibilities aren’t just in the above though as he needs to be composed on the ball and reliable.
With things not quite working out for him at Manchester United previously, the player also struggled to find his in loan spells with Leicester and Blackburn Rovers, and he’s only been with Burnley for a year.
At this stage, a £20m punt would be a bit of a gamble but his price-tag could rocket in the future- Leicester just need to weigh up whether it’s a risk they can afford to take.