Leicester City have begun their search for a new centre-back in the aftermath of Wesley Fofana’s horror leg break in Wednesday’s pre-season friendly with Villarreal.
The 20-year-old was caught by a nasty challenge from Fernando Nino which he has since confirmed left him with a fractured fibula, and although a recovery period has not yet been established, it’s clear Fofana will be out of action for a while.
The injury has left manager Brendan Rodgers in a tricky spot. Jonny Evans is nursing a foot injury which has disrupted his pre-season, so there is a chance that Rodgers may have just two centre-backs available for Saturday’s Community Shield against Manchester City – Caglar Soyuncu and Filip Benkovic, the latter of whom spent last season on loan with Cardiff and OH Leuven.
With numbers so thin at the back, sources have confirmed to 90min that Rodgers is keen to bring in a replacement for Fofana and has recommended a handful of candidates to fill the role.
On his list of targets is Schalke youngster Ozan Kabak, who spent the past six months on loan with Liverpool. Talks with the Turkey international had been held well before Fofana’s injury and there has long been genuine interest in getting a deal done, and Leicester could now choose to accelerate things given the gravity of the situation.
Also on Rodgers’ radar is Oostende’s Jack Hendry, whom Rodgers knows well from his time at Celtic. As 90min revealed in March, Rodgers sent scouts to monitor the 26-year-old, who was voted the Pro League Player of the Season last year.
Oostende triggered their option to sign Hendry permanently for a fee of around £2m, but the Belgian side have promised to sell him to the highest bidder this summer and are looking for a fee of around £10m.
Aston Villa, Burnley, Newcastle, Crystal Palace, Wolves, Brighton and Leeds have all enquired about Hendry’s availability, while there has also been plenty of interest from the continent as well.
Leicester have already enjoyed an impressive summer in the transfer market, bringing in Patson Daka, Boubakary Soumare and Ryan Bertrand, but their next signing may have to be someone to tie things together at the back.