Leicester City are “struggling” to find an ideal goalkeeper target, according to a report that has clarified the situation regarding Kasper Schmeichel moving on.
Schmeichel is into the final year of his contract at Leicester City, whom he has represented with distinction since 2011. Consequently, there have been claims that the Denmark international could leave this summer. Specifically, Nice are trying to take him to Ligue 1.
His suitors have recently sold their first-choice goalkeeper from last season, Walter Benitez, to PSV Eindhoven. As such, they are on the hunt for a replacement and have identified Schmeichel as a top candidate.
There have even been claims that Schmeichel has an agreement in principle over personal terms with Nice. What’s more, there has been a suggestion of Leicester letting their club captain leave for free.
However, both points have been ruled out by Foot Mercato. The French source has verified that Schmeichel is of interest to Nice, but are denying any agreement over a contract.
They also confirm Leicester would receive a transfer fee for Schmeichel rather than releasing him 12 months ahead of schedule. It is not clear, though, how large that sum may be.
Leicester are yet to make a signing this summer and may need to make some sales first to change that. While they presumably wouldn’t get much money from selling a 35-year-old, they would clear space on the wage bill, because Schmeichel is among their highest earners.
However, after all he has done for them – Schmeichel was a member of the infamous Premier League title-winning squad, of course – Leicester would want to replace their number one with someone of similar quality.
There have been a few links with potential successors in recent days. However, Foot Mercato claim “the task is more difficult than expected” when it comes to identifying a new shot-stopper to pursue.
Indeed, they are “struggling to find the ideal candidate” to replace Schmeichel.
Nice move may be worth wait for Leicester icon Kasper Schmeichel
Until they reach a breakthrough in that regard, Schmeichel may have to wait for his move to Nice.
Joining the Ligue 1 club would allow him to compete in European football again, since they are in the Europa Conference League qualifiers. Schmeichel reached the semi-final of that competition with Leicester last season, but now they have no continental involvement on offer.
Hence, although Nice are a club in transition this summer – not just in the goalkeeping department, having had to replace PSG-bound head coach Christophe Galtier with Lucien Favre – they may be an interesting option for Schmeichel to consider.
For now, though, he may yet have to wait at the King Power Stadium. Entering the new season with Schmeichel as number one still would be little problem for Leicester.
But time will tell how much longer they can keep hold of him.