Leicester take lead in transfer race for Man Utd misfit but post-Fofana budget suggestion raises concern

James Garner marking Oscar Trejo

Leicester City have become the new frontrunners for the signature of Manchester United midfielder James Garner, according to a report.

Garner is on the lookout for a new club after failing to convince Erik ten Hag he is worthy of a place in his plans. The academy graduate spent last season on loan at Nottingham Forest, helping them to win promotion to the Premier League.

Having impressed along the way, it looks like Garner will be a top-flight player this season. However, it might be with neither Manchester United nor Nottingham Forest.

There has been a wealth of interest since he was made available by his parent club. Amid a valuation of around £15million, he has attracted the likes of Everton and Southampton.

The latter had been said to be the leading candidates to sign Garner. But now, Football Insider have revealed that Leicester City are currently looking the most likely suitor to win the race for his signature.

Like Everton and Southampton, they have already made an approach for the 21-year-old. What may work in their favour now, per Football Insider, is the imminent sale of Wesley Fofana to Chelsea.

Leicester will be cashing in on the defender for a fee of around £70million to start with. It means they could finally open up their wallets to make a first paid-for signing of the summer.

To date, Leicester have only managed to bring in backup goalkeeper Alex Smithies on a free transfer.

Budget concern may dampen Leicester hopes for James Garner

However, the Daily Telegraph have estimated that Leicester will only allocate around one-third of the windfall they receive for Fofana into new signings. In other words, their remaining budget could be just over £23million.

And with a portion of that sum going towards a deal for Wout Faes as a replacement for Fofana, they may have to alter their plans if they really expect to win the race for Garner.

Faes and Garner would come for similar transfer fees in the £15million region. Hence, Leicester are unlikely to get both while sticking to their limit of just over £20million.

Perhaps they will have to increase their budget or simply decide which player they need more. If they are selling a defender, maybe a replacement like Faes will be more important.

But Garner would give them something to work with in midfield. It could be important if Youri Tielemans or Dennis Praet leave, with Hamza Choudhury already having headed off.

There are many variables for Leicester to consider. If they can get Garner, though, he would be an exciting young talent for them to develop.

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