Leicester City

Leicester City

Premier League • England

Leicester forgotten man subject of shock January window interest from Atletico Madrid

Leicester City's Jonny Evans celebrates with Caglar Soyuncu and Luke Thomas

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is on the hunt for defensive reinforcements in January and is considering a shock move for Leicester City centre-back Caglar Soyuncu, according to reports. 

The Foxes defender has featured just once in the Premier League this season and seems to have fallen out of favour with Brendan Rodgers after a lack of minutes on the pitch.

The 26-year-old is reportedly valued at around £22million, but Atletico may be able to get a cut-price deal as the Turk’s contract terminates at the end of the season.

It’s no secret Simeone’s team are in the market for defensive reinforcements as part of the Argentine’s plans to add more quality to the team.

In the centre-back position, Los Rojiblancos lack assurance due to transfer interest and injuries to two of their key players.

There is currently uncertainty over the future of Mario Hermoso, as well as their other centre-half Felipe, while Stefan Savic has also struggled with injuries.

With that in mind, Atletico are keen to bring in at least one more centre-back in January and Soyuncu is currently top of the list.

This is according to a report by Diario ASwho claim Simeone and co are attempting a repeat of ‘operation Reinildo,’ who was available for a free transfer at the end of last season, but the club decided to pay a minimal fee to sign him in January.

The gamble on Reinildo’s paid off for Atletico Madrid as the Mozambican has since become a stalwart at left-back for Simeone.

Considering Soyuncu is also out of contract at the end of this season, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see something similar happen with the Foxes man.

Soyuncu to Atletico could be a ‘win-win’ for Simeone and Rodgers

Before falling behind Daniel Amartey and Wout Faes in the pecking order at Leicester, Soyuncu was considered to be a consistent defender, with the ability to read the game well and an aggressive physicality that would fit with Simeone’s style of play.

Overall, in 125 appearances for the Foxes, the Turkish international has generally performed well for his team.

Last season, in 28 Premier League matches, Soyuncu averaged a solid 1.7 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 3.2 clearances per outing, helping his side to five clean sheets.

Of course, the centre-back was also a key part of the 2020/21 Leicester side which finished fifth in the league table and won the FA Cup, playing 32 matches in that campaign.

Soyuncu has plenty of experience under his belt, too, with 51 appearances for Turkey and has also played well in the Bundesliga with Freiburg.

With a valuation of £22m according to Transfermarkt, receiving a fee in that region would open up some much-needed funds for Leicester as Rodgers eyes reinforcements in January.

However, the Turk’s value will only decrease as he nears the end of his contract, so the fee may be much lower than that as the Foxes will be desperate to get him off the books before he can leave on a free transfer.

As for Simeone, Soyuncu would be a good, experienced defensive option to have at his disposal, which is especially important given the rumours surrounding Felipe and Hermoso.

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