Leicester City are in pole position to beat two of their Premier League rivals to the signing of former Liverpool loanee Ozan Kabak this summer, according to one journalist.
Kabak joined the Reds on deadline day of the winter transfer window as they scrambled for defensive reinforcements. He made a total of 14 appearances across the Champions League and the Premier League in the second half of the season. However, there never appeared to be much intention from the club of making the move permanent.
But with first-choice pair Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez set to return from next season, the move never looked likely.
The duo have both now joined their side’s pre-season camp in Austria, providing a huge boost for boss Jurgen Klopp.
And Liverpool’s interest and eventual singing of RB Leipzig’s Ibrahima Konate banished any last hope Kabak had of staying on Meryseyside.
His time in England’s top-flight might not be over just yet, though. Sport1 reporter Patrick Berger has revealed Kabak has been given an extra week off by Schalke to consider his future, and it is Leicester who are leading the race to sign him.
The Foxes were named in connection with a move for the Turkey international last month. They weren’t the only Prem side linked.
Newcastle were said to have been offered the chance to sign Kabak. But they look unlikely to make a move. Furthermore, Crystal Palace were said to have joined the race in recent weeks.
However, it is Brendan Rodgers’ men who are now seemingly favourites to get the deal done.
Berger’s tweet also featured a quote from Schalke’s sporting director Rouven Schroder. He said: “There are enquiries for Ozan but no official bids yet.”
The German side are reportedly asking for a fee of €15m. This is a significant reduction from the €25m that had been suggested in earlier reports.
Kabak not the only ex-Red targeted
Meanwhile, reports claim Leicester may face competition from a pair of Italian giants this summer. That’s if they want to sign Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho.
The 29-year-old could well be available in the off-season after failing to hit the heights at the Nou Camp.
The Brazil playmaker cost Barca an initial £105 million when he joined the Catalans from Liverpool in January 2018. He had been a star for the Reds over a five-year spell at Anfield. As such, he arrived in Barcelona to much fanfare.
However, after a more than ideal three-and-a-half years in Spain, it might be time for a new challenge…