Leicester City could be about to move for teenage Polish winger Bartosz Kapustka, with reports of a fee having already been agreed appearing in the press recently.
Amid murmurings of a potential move away from the King Power stadium for PFA Player of the Year Riyad Mahrez, the Premier League champions’ pursuit of Kapustka will only further stoke that fire.
The Daily Mail reported yesterday: “Leicester City have agreed a deal to sign Poland international winger Bartosz Kapustka.
“Sportsmail revealed Leicester's bid at the weekend and the Premier League champions have now settled on a fee with Cracovia for an initial £5.4million, rising to £7.4m based on performance.
“The 19-year-old is finalising personal terms and is expected to have a medical tomorrow.”
The Football Whisper Index is giving the potential of Leicester sealing a swoop for Kapustka a score of 3.2 out of five, which would suggest that the Foxes are in with a real chance of getting their man.
Following Leicester’s historic Premier League triumph last season, speculation almost immediately turned to focus of which of their star performers would be heading for the exit door.
Several players who, just 12 months earlier, were virtually unknown, had transformed themselves into household names. It was thought that perhaps these new stars would want to parlay their raised profile into securing a big-money move to one of the Premier League’s, or the Continent’s, elite clubs.
But with Jamie Vardy’s proposed move to Arsenal haven fallen through due to the former non-league player deciding he’d rather stay with Leicester than make a £20 million switch to the Emirates, so far, the only high-profile exit has been that of combative French midfielder N’Golo Kanté, who has joined Chelsea for £32 million.
But before Kanté had even left, the Foxes had recruited a player capable of taking his place in midfield in the shape of Nampalys Mendy, who was brought in from Nice for a then-club record £13 million.
That cub record fee has since been eclipsed by the arrival of Nigerian striker Ahmed Musa from CSKA Moscow for £16.6 million. So, unlikely as it may be, even if another club makes a play for Vardy late in the transfer window, Leicester will not be lacking for pace in attack, thanks to Musa’s signing.
But with the speculation surrounding Mahrez’s future – the Algerian winger has been heavily linked with a possible move to Arsenal in the French press – the champions’ move for Kapustka makes perfect sense.
The 19-year-old Poland international impressed during the recent European Championship in France, drawing plaudits for his performance against Northern Ireland in particular.
Despite his tender years, Kapustka was a key player for Cracovia in the Polish top-flight last season, playing 35 times in all competitions, scoring five goals and, perhaps more impressively, laying on 10 assists.
Fast and skilful, the youngster — who can play on either flank — in an expert dribbler with a creative eye – remind you of anyone?
But even if Mahrez decides to stay with Leicester into the new season, Kapustka’s versatility could see the two talented wingers work in tandem; one left, the other right. With the pace and running power of Vardy and Musa ahead of them, the two gifted wide men would have no shortage of targets for their crosses and through-balls.
With their maiden Champions League campaign on the horizon, Leicester will be desperate to hang on to Mahrez and understandably so – even if they were to receive the rumoured £42 million fee for the former Le Havre player, they’d struggle to attract a replacement of the same class.
But irrespective of Mahrez’s future, a move for Kapustka would be an astute one from Leicester, as the youngster has the potential to become every bit as good as the in-demand Algerian.
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