Leicester City are ready to make an offer for Sampdoria midfielder Dennis Praet, although Arsenal are also thought to be in the race for the Belgian.
Leicester City are ready to accelerate their plans for the summer further as they target further signings to bolster their squad. According to The Mirror, the Foxes are prepared to make an offer for Arsenal target and Sampdoria midfielder Dennis Praet in the coming days, although much will depend on the player’s wish for a new club.
Praet had been widely tipped to leave the Italians this summer at the back of another impressive season with Sampdoria. The Belgian played 37 times in Serie-A scoring twice and providing three assists to Sampdoria’s cause. With Premier League the most likely destination for the midfielder, Arsenal were thought to be among the frontrunners for his signature.
However, due to Arsenal’s low budget for the current window, they have been unable to compete with other clubs as things stand. While Unai Emery has so far tried to sign forwards and defenders, a midfielder remains one of his priorities. Since Aaron Ramsey has left on a free transfer to Juventus, Emery acknowledges the lack of creativity in his midfield and is therefore looking at options including Praet.
Earlier reports suggested Arsenal were very much interested in Praet. There were previous claims of a £44 million double offer for Praet and his teammate Joachim Andersen being rejected by Sampdoria and Arsenal have never really gone back with another firm offer. Praet’s agent has also hinted the Belgian, who he described as ‘a complete footballer’, might have a future elsewhere.
He said, “There are other clubs that want to sign him, especially abroad. They’ve already shown their interest.” The agent did not explicitly mention Arsenal’s interest but did hint at Praet’s liking to join a big club. He further added, “I can’t add anything else now, I think you can understand. Dennis is a complete footballer, and he is ready to join a big club. There are many clubs interested, we’ll know everything in a few weeks.”
Leicester are among those interested and are reportedly ready to lodge a £15 million bid to test Sampdoria’s resolve. Sampdoria certainly values Praet more than £15 million and its likely they would reject this approach. Having sold fellow midfielder Lucas Torreira last summer to Arsenal for £26 million, the Italians are indeed looking for a similar amount for Praet.
As for Leicester, signing Praet would be a statement of intent having already secured the £40 million signing of Youri Tielemans from Monaco in recent days. The Foxes, who finished 9th in the Premier League would be looking to bridge the gap to European places for next season, and a player like Praet would help do that.
Arsenal, on the other hand, requires a midfielder of Praet’s quality. Their need for an imminent replacement for Ramsey might force their hand to move for the midfielder. For now, everything is quiet from Arsenal’s point of view, but with Leicester lurking around their shoulders for Praet, the Gunners might have to act fast if they are to secure the Belgian’s transfer this summer.