Report: Leicester City confident of landing Shinji Okazaki

Leicester City have reportedly moved a step closer to securing their long-standing target after Mainz signed Japanese compatriot Yoshinori Muto.

According to Brendan McLoughlin of the Mirror, Leicester City will step up their £8million pursuit of Shinji Okazaki after FSV Mainz 05 landed a replacement for the Japanese striker.

Nigel Pearson allegedly attempted to sign the 28-year-old in previous transfer windows, but is still without his man.

The Mirror report suggests Leicester City are now growing increasingly confident of completing the deal following Mainz’s Muto deal.

Reports suggest The Foxes view Okazaki as a priority this summer, along with agreeing a permanent deal for Stoke City centre-half Robert Huth after his successful season-long loan spell, as per the Leicester Mercury.

Okazaki netted 12 goals in 32 appearances for Mainz last season. Leicester's only answer to that currently is Leonardo Ulloa, who scored 13 goals in 37 appearances. Having both strikers chipping away of that standard would benefit the club's chances of survival in the upcoming league campaign.

The Premier League club, who battled bravely to preserve their top-flight status this season, are also waiting on confirmation from midfield maestro Esteban Cambiasso over whether he will extend his contract and stay for a further season.

Cambiasso claimed Leicester City's Player of the Year award for 2014/15 after being a key element in their great escape from relegation.

However, if the Okazaki transfer goes ahead this summer, the striker will hope to have a greater impact on the Premier League than previous Bundesliga incomers. Recruits such as Shinji Kagawa and Nuri Sahin never really found their feet in England at Manchester United and Liverpool respectively following high-profile moves from Borussia Dortmund.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch