Leicester City have found a new suitor for last summer’s midfield signing, Boubakary Soumare, according to reports in his native France.
Soumare signed for Leicester just over a year ago from Lille. He has been attracting clubs back in Ligue 1 ever since, though, having faded from prominence as his debut Premier League season went on.
Soumare only played in half of Leicester’s league matches last season. Only two of his 12 starts in the competition came after the turn of the calendar year.
He is yet to feature in the 2022-23 campaign either, despite being involved in some pre-season fixtures. In the meantime, there have been exit rumours for the 23-year-old, despite his contract running until 2026.
The latest side to show an interest in Soumare is Rennes. After finishing fourth in Ligue 1 last season, they have been working to modify their squad.
Four notable signings have arrived so far. Veteran goalkeeper Steve Mandanda joined for free, defender Arthur Theate signed from Bologna, forward Arnaud Kalimuendo made the switch from Paris Saint-Germain, and defender Joe Rodon completed a loan move from Tottenham Hotspur.
Now, Rennes could go back into the Premier League market for Leicester’s Soumare, whom they are long-term admirers of.
For a move to happen, Leicester have set some certain conditions. First, they have ruled out the prospect of a loan deal, despite the length of time remaining on his contract.
Hence, if Rennes want to sign Soumare, they will have to make a permanent offer that will meet Leicester’s valuation. Incidentally, that will stand at no less than €20million (£16.9million).
The asking price has already proven to be off-putting for Monaco. Whether Rennes will be willing to part with such a sum for Soumare remains to be seen.
Plenty to consider regarding Boubakary Soumare valuation
They have spent similar figures to sign Kalimuendo and Theate over the past few weeks. There may be more doubts about Soumare’s worth after a relatively indifferent season with Leicester, though.
Still, he has plenty of years ahead of him to rediscover his rhythm. Perhaps that is why Leicester are holding out for a decent windfall still, in case they would come to regret his departure in future.
For now, though, he does not seem to occupy a major space in Brendan Rodgers’ plans. The most sensible thing from his perspective may be to head back to a league he is familiar with.
Rennes have a couple of weeks to decide if they are going to grant him that opportunity.