Leicester lengthen shortlist for Fofana cover as Rodgers revisits long-term target

Samuel Bannister
Fabian Schar competing for header with Fabian Schar

Jannik Vestergaard is the latest defender to be linked with a Leicester City side scrambling for cover at the back.

Wesley Fofana suffered a medial ligament injury to his keen in pre-season, ruling him out until 2022. Also missing the start of the season will be Jonny Evans, who has a foot issue. Therefore, finding more depth at centre-back is a priority matter for the Foxes.

We revealed in an exclusive last week that they are ready to push through a deal for Ozan Kabak from Schalke. The Turkey international spent the second half of last season on loan at Liverpool and could return to the Premier League.

But Leicester are searching far and wide and are also considering other options. For example, they have been linked with Stefan De Vrij of Inter Milan and Rob Holding of Arsenal, although there are doubts over the feasibility of either deal.

One signing that could be more likely is that of Vestergaard, who is in the final year of his Southampton contract. According to the Daily Telegraph, Leicester have held talks over signing the Denmark international.

Brendan Rodgers is a long-term admirer of Vestergaard and now may be his best chance to sign him. A price tag of £25m two years ago was off-putting, but he will be cheaper now.

Jannik Vestergaard., James Ward-Prowse, Stuart Armstrong, Southampton

Even so, Southampton do not want to let him go, because he remains important for Ralph Hasenhuttl. They have already lost one man in the final year of his contract, Danny Ings, and are keen to avoid a similar scenario. However, if it means they would lose him for free next year, they may consider a sale.

The Telegraph confirm that Kabak is on Leicester’s shortlist, while Takehiro Tomiyasu of Bologna is as well. The Japan international has been regularly linked with Tottenham recently.

But Vestergaard could be a more affordable option if Southampton soften their stance.

Rodgers reveals defender plan

Speaking before the Community Shield match against Manchester City, which Leicester won to claim their second trophy under Rodgers, their manager confirmed they are assessing options in the transfer market.

“We’re definitely light in the area,” he said. “Filip Benkovic has done really well over the course of pre-season. Daniel Amartey has also done well. It’s certainly something we’ll look at.

“There will be a small group of players identified. We’ll see what happens.”

Rodgers was speaking after admitting Fofana would be a huge loss for Leicester.

“He fractured his fibula. So it’s a horrendous injury for us and we are devastated for him. He’s a top class player so he’s going to be a huge loss for us.

“Our medical team were fantastic. They looked after him. Our trauma doctor was able to put his ankle back in place. Then he went to the hospital.”

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