Leicester City transfers: Celtic claim rubbished as Foxes close in on €15m deal

Leicester City and the Steve Cooper era are up and running with the first transfer of the summer seeing Bobby De Cordova-Reid signing for the Foxes on a free transfer.

The versatile attacker has joined from Fulham and signed a three-year deal to add options to Cooper’s squad in the final third.

However, that’s not the end of it, City are thought to have several pots bubbling away at present – here’s a round-up of the latest transfer gossip.

READ MORE: Leicester City transfer strategy and budget explained

READ MORE: Leicester City squad numbers available for Bobby De Cordova-Reid and new signings

Defender set for €15m move

Leicester City are closing in on the signing of Atalanta centre-back Caleb Okoli, according to reports in Italy. Some in this country have even suggested he has had a medical.

City are said to have agreed a deal of €15m (£12.7m) for the 22-year-old defender.

The former Italy Under-21 international spent last season on loan at Frosinone in Serie A, playing 34 times as they finished 18th to suffer relegation. A fall into Serie B does not look to have harmed Okoli’s reputation though.

The 22-year-old came through the youth ranks at Atalanta, but having spent a few seasons out on loan, he’s only managed 17 senior appearances for the club. Before a year at Frosinone, he also spent time with SPAL and Cremonese.

Returning to the Midlands?

Former City favourite Kasper Schmeichel has emerged as a possible transfer option for Wolves amid reports that Arsenal are ‘plotting a shock move’ for Dan Bentley.

The Sun’s transfer specialist Alan Nixon claims that the Gunners want 30-year-old Bentley as third choice cover for his former Brentford team-mate David Raya, who is currently understudy to Mikel Arteta’s number one, Aaron Ramsdale.

Bentley has been unable to make the first team at Wanderers due to the form of Jose Sa ahead of him and the report claims that Wolves’ coach Gary O’Neil is “in the market for a new reserve with Kasper Schmeichel, 37, an option.”

City signing ‘almost perfect’

Playing under Steve Cooper at Leicester City is “the perfect fit” for new signing Bobby De Cordova-Reid, and it’s easy to see why.

There’s a strong chance Cooper will introduce a back-three system at City, one he utilised to guide Nottingham Forest to promotion and then turned to on occasion in the Premier League. In that formation, there is fluidity in the front three.

That’s where De Cordova-Reid comes in. In his time at Fulham, the Jamaica international has played on the wing, behind the striker, or up front. On occasion, he was even drafted in at right-back.

It was easy to move him around the pitch, Fulham boss Marco Silva said, because he had such a good tactical understanding of the game.

“Tactically, Bobby is almost perfect,” Silva said last year. “His game understanding is really good. He understands what the team needs.

“The Premier League is not just individual quality. It’s the understanding from a tactical point of view. Bobby can understand all of these situations. Sometimes it doesn’t show in the highlights. He’s scored some important goals but in all moments, he’s important.

“Bobby may not look it, but he is one of the guys with leadership. He doesn’t need to be vocal. He’s important in our squad. That’s why I made him one of the group captains.”

The long goodbye?

Wilfred Ndidi is no longer a Leicester City player. With June ticking into July, the Nigerian midfielder has become a free agent.

That’s not to say it means he has rejected a chance to stay at the King Power Stadium. But equally, it does feel like time is ticking.

City are about to return to pre-season training and Steve Cooper will be assessing his squad to determine where they need to strengthen in the transfer market. At some point, they’re going to have to assume Ndidi isn’t returning and look elsewhere.

Over the past few weeks, Ndidi’s been linked to a host of clubs, but quite quickly those rumours have been shot down. This week, it was reported that he had been offered to Celtic and the chance for a reunion with Brendan Rodgers, but almost as soon as that story emerged, there were further reports rubbishing the claims.

Equally, there’s been talk of contract offers from Everton and Marseille to the midfielder. But local press in Liverpool say the Toffees aren’t interested, while in the south of France, it’s reported Ndidi’s wages would be too much for Marseille to afford.

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