Leicester City target moving closer to Sporting Lisbon exit

Leicester City target Islam Slimani has been forced to train alone by Sporting Lisbon while his future is decided, with a move before the end of the transfer window looking likely.

Leicester City target Islam Slimani looks to be on his way out of Sporting Lisbon, with Portuguese newspaper Record claiming that a move before end of the transfer window is the likeliest outcome.

According to the report, the 26-year-old striker has been forced to train alone for disciplinary reasons, much like new Manchester United signing Marcos Rojo, while the club attempt to resolve his future.

Said to have already looked at potential replacements, Sporting had originally rejected a £4 million Leicester bid for the Algerian international but, with the club currently going through financial difficulties, an imminent £6 million approach from the Premier League side would likely be accepted.

With a contract running until 2017, Slimani moved to Sporting just last summer from CR Belouizdad, with his eight goals in 26 appearances helping the Portuguese outfit to a second-place finish in the Primeira Liga.

Going on to score twice during Algeria’s impressive run to the World Cup’s last-16, the 24-times capped front man’s performances on the big stage helped further boost his profile and have seen a host of English sides linked to his services.

  TeamGoalsClear Cut Chances ScoredScoring v Shooting AccuracyShot AccWon Header DuelsDribble AccFouls / appsDispossessed / appsAppsMins
Islam Slimani Algeria 2 66.67% 22.22% 55.56% 33.33% 33.33% 1.50 1.75 4 323

The likes of West Ham United, Crystal Palace, Everton and Newcastle United have all been cited as possible suitors over the summer, but Leicester’s interest has consistently been at the forefront of rumours.

Another Portuguese newspaper, A Bola, had claimed that the newly-promoted side were close to a potential deal earlier this month, but manager Nigel Pearson dismissed such claims at the time.

Nevertheless, despite already signing Brighton & Hove Albion’s Leonardo Ulloa for a club record £8 million, Leicester’s desire to add another striker to their squad has been no secret, with their earlier attempts to acquire Watford’s Troy Deeney scuppered by a £10 million-plus asking price.

Returning to the Premier League after a 10-year absence, the Foxes got off to solid start last weekend with a 2-2 draw against Everton, but the belief remains that the group of Ulloa, David Nugent, Jamie Vardy and Chris Wood will not be enough firepower to avoid the drop.

Whether Slimani’s addition would prove the key to top-flight survival remains to be seen but, considering all the other reportedly interested clubs, Pearson’s side will have to move fast if they want to win the race to his signature.

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