Rumour Reel: Champions Leicester look to Sporting’s Slimani for forward boost
Lee Gormley | May 24, 2016
Coral’s rumour reel
The rumour mill is already in full swing following the end of a thrilling Premier League season and, with the transfer window soon opening wide once again, there are plenty of intriguing gossip circulating regarding big-money movers.
Foxes hunting Sporting’s Slimani
After an incredible campaign in which they secured the top-flight title, Claudio Ranieri’s Foxes are on the hunt for a boost in their attacking ranks, with England international Jamie Vardy having been the key frontman this term.
Top of the Italian boss’ wishlist is reportedly Sporting Lisbon marksman Islam Slimani, with the champions possibly having to fork over up to €30m for the talented Algeria international finisher, a fee which his current coach Jorge Jesus believes is “nothing” for his quality.
“I would like for Slimani to stay. This area is for the president. The coach also has a say, and [the Sporting president] knows my opinion,” said Jesus. “At present, 30 million for a player like Slimani is nothing.”
The Algerian attacker is believed to have a €30m (£23.25m) buy-out clause in his contract at the Estadio Jose Alvalade, and is does not expire until 2020, but Leicester may face competition for his signature from the likes of Arsenal and Tottenham, with Slimani having netted 32 times for club and country this term.
West Brom out to bag Clark
With Aston Villa having dropped down to the Championship after a disastrous campaign in the top tier, West Bromwich Albion are aiming to snap up one of their Birmingham rivals’ key players for next season.
In a bid to bolster his defensive outfit, Baggies boss Tony Pulis will reportedly attempt to secure the signing of Republic of Ireland centre half Ciaran Clark, who will likely be heading to France for Euro 2016 this summer with Martin O’Neill’s Boys in Green.
London-born defender Clark would likely hope to remain in the top flight to help prolong his international career, rather than contesting in the Championship with Villa, and the Baggies missed out on him last year when initially extending his stay in the West Midlands.
Although, Pulis will be keen to renew his interest ahead of next season and could swoop to trigger the Ireland centre back’s supposed £5m release clause.
Lukaku back to the Bridge?
Elsewhere, in the capital, Chelsea may soon be reuniting themselves with a former youth star, with Everton striker Romelu Lukaku linked with a sensational return to Stamford Bridge this summer.
The towering Belgium international bulldozer recently claimed he wanted to play Champions League football, something the Blues have missed out on for next term, but the 23-year-old now seems to be keen on a comeback.
After Roberto Martinez’s exit from Goodison Park, Lukaku is believed to be eyeing a return to his old employers in a deal which could be worth an incredible £65m, despite departing Chelsea in 2014 after just one Premier League start in three years.
With the summer soon upon us, Coral’s Rumour Reel is back in full swing, so check out other editions to ensure you don’t miss any major gossip.
Have a gander at our extensive Euro 2016 section too before the big kick-off.