Monday 24 October 2016

Leicester City consider £25m bid for Sevilla midfielder Steven Nzonzi

John Percy

Published 25/08/2016 | 08:18

Steven Nzonzi, the Sevilla midfielder, may return to the Premier League Credit: Getty Images
Steven Nzonzi, the Sevilla midfielder, may return to the Premier League Credit: Getty Images

Claudio Ranieri is weighing up a club-record £25 million bid to bring Steven Nzonzi back to the Premier League.

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Ranieri has identified the Sevilla midfielder as a potential signing before the transfer window closes after being alerted that Nzonzi wants to return to England.

The 27-year-old has a huge €30 million (£25 million) buy-out clause in his Sevilla contract but a possible move has been backed by Leicester’s owners as they prepare for the Champions League.

Ranieri lost N’Golo Kanté to Chelsea last month and despite signing Nampalys Mendy, the Premier League champions are ready to recruit another defensive midfielder.

Mendy is expected to miss at least three weeks with an ankle injury after coming off early in last weekend’s 0-0 draw with Arsenal.

Nzonzi has been on Leicester’s radar since last year, when he was sold by Stoke City to Sevilla for £7 million. In his first season at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium he helped Sevilla to win the Europa League for the third year in a row with a 3-1 victory over Liverpool in the final.

Monaco are also interested in the Frenchman but Leicester are understood to have made preliminary contact with his representatives ahead of a bid.

Leicester vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha confirmed this week that funds are available to Ranieri. He said: “I’m already excited by the strength and vibrancy of the squad and we are ready to make to make further investments if the right opportunities arise.”

Leicester will discover their Champions League opponents at 5pm on Thursday evening when the draw is made at the Uefa headquarters in Monaco.

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