Tottenham to ruin Leicester transfer plan as Paratici begins talks over impressive Ligue 1 signing

Jordan Veretout and Azzedine Ounahi

Leicester City could miss out on a January signing to Tottenham after Fabio Paratici reportedly initiated talks over his move.

Both teams have endured poor results since the return of domestic football after the World Cup. Tottenham are yet to pick up a win, having drawn 2-2 with Brentford and then lost 2-0 to Aston Villa.

Antonio Conte’s side will be aiming to turn things around in their next outing. They face Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park on Wednesday night.

Leicester, meanwhile, were beaten 3-0 by Newcastle at home on Boxing Day. Wout Faes then registered two own goals in a 2-1 away defeat to Liverpool.

And Brendan Rodgers’ men were handed their third straight defeat on Tuesday, with Aleksandar Mitrovic scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win for Fulham.

It is clear both Tottenham and Leicester need players to join in January. They will help to improve the quality of the first team, while also getting the current squad to perform better due to added competition.

With this in mind, it looks as though the two English sides are about to battle for Azzedine Ounahi.

The central midfielder, who currently plays for Angers in Ligue 1, is in demand after his top performances for Morocco at the World Cup. He played in every game as Morocco became the first African nation to reach the semi-finals, where they lost to France.

Spurs, Leicester target pushing for transfer

Reports in France claim Ounahi, as well as his Angers team-mate Sofiane Boufal, will push for a move away from the club to join a more competitive side.

And Ounahi could end up playing in England. Leicester, Newcastle and West Ham have all been named as potential suitors for him.

Recently it has been Leicester who have pushed hardest to capture the 22-year-old. But according to the Daily Express, who cite Italian outlet La Repubblica, Spurs are ‘meddling’ in Leicester’s attempts to complete a deal.

After Leicester began preliminary talks with Angers, Spurs chief Fabio Paratici has now done the same. This sets up the possibility of Spurs ruining Leicester’s transfer plan and getting to Ounahi first.

Despite recent struggles for both teams, Spurs certainly seems to be the more attractive destination for him right now. Leicester are in 13th and unlikely to qualify for any European competition. Spurs, though, sit in fifth and could still turn things around and get into the Champions League for next season.

Signing Ounahi would make sense for Conte, too. He needs a new central midfielder to provide competition and backup for the likes of Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, Rodrigo Bentancur and Yves Bissouma. Oliver Skipp and Pape Sarr are seemingly not up to scratch right now.

Italian side winning race for Azzedine Ounahi

Unfortunately for Spurs and Leicester, there is a good chance Ounahi will end up going elsewhere.

The report names Napoli as the frontrunners to capture Ounahi. This is because they have already received a ‘yes’ from the player and his agent.

One glimmer of hope for Spurs and Leicester is Napoli’s financial situation. They cannot afford to spend too much on Ounahi. Instead, they want to sign him for less than €15million (£13.2m) and loan him back to Angers for the remainder of the season.

If Spurs or Leicester put forward more than £13.2m for the breakout World Cup star, then they may just land him ahead of Napoli.

Meanwhile, Spurs have decided which of their right-backs will be offloaded in January, as per a report.