Leicester lead race for Kante clone who ‘will leave’ Ligue 1 leaders


Leicester City are said to be winning the race to sign in-demand Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare in the summer transfer window.

Soumare, 22, has been attracting a great deal of attention with his displays in Ligue 1 this term. The France Under-21 ace has made 15 starts among 26 appearances and helped Lille to the top of the table. With six games to go, Les Dogues are three points clear of Paris Saint-Germain. Whatever happens, the talented youngster has enhanced his reputation and is in line for a move.

Likened to Chelsea star N’Golo Kante, Soumare is a box-to-box midfielder who thrives in breaking up opposition attacks.

Never a goal threat, the youngster has scored just once in 78 league appearances for LOSC. But he does the hard yards as well as anyone around and could be tailor-made for the Premier League.

Many clubs have been linked over the past few months. Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal and Newcastle have all been mentioned as suitors while Liverpool were also thought to be keen.

And it appears as though the former PSG youth player will be on his way.

Back in September Lille president Gerard Lopez said: “He will undoubtedly leave the club, the door is open. We have concrete offers. We will talk in the coming days.”

Those comments were aimed at last year’s transfer window but he remained at Stade Pierre-Mauroy. However, having impressed during 2020-2021, an exit now seems likely.

The Daily Star are suggesting the Foxes are ‘in pole position’ to land the player in the off-season. The report adds that they are ‘increasingly confident’ of landing a target they have been tracking for more than a year.

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Soumare could have pick of Premier League

He will have just 12 months left on his Lille deal at the end of the current campaign. A figure of £30m has been mooted to sign Soumare and he will not be short of options.

It is not known if the Red Devils or Spurs will go back in for the talented schemer. But the fact Brendan Rodgers’ side should be able to offer Champions League football will aid their cause.

Youri Tielemans TEAMtalk

The East Midlanders sit third in the table and face a battle for a top-four spot. They already have many midfield options.

Rodgers can call on the likes of Wilfred Ndidi, Nampalys Mendy, Dennis Praet, Youri Tielemans and Hamza Choudhury. But Soumare seems a special talent and would enhance the club’s chances of challenging both domestically and in Europe.

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