Football

Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho readies £30m transfer bid for Leicester star Ricardo Pereira


Leicester City are facing a January battle to hold on to exciting full-back Ricardo Pereira. The Portuguese star has made a huge impact at the King Power Stadium since being snapped up from Porto in 2018.

New Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho is a fan of the 26-year-old, and the north London club are ready to offer £30million in January for the Foxes defender – but French giants Paris Saint-Germain are also interested.

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers, whose second in the table side visit Newcastle this weekend, has pledged that none of his players will be up for sale in January, and that he is in fact looking to add to his squad.

He explained: “There will be nobody leaving in January, categorically. I am speaking regularly with (director of football) Jon (Rudkin) and Top (owner Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha).

“It is really clear, we want to keep this squad together. It is an exciting team with growth and development in it, so we want to ensure they stay around beyond January.”

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Manchester United have also been linked with the full-back, who cost Leicester £21m when he switched from Porto in May 2018, as have Barcelona.

Pereira was an ever-present in Rodgers’ high-flying Foxes team this season, until he picked up a hamstring injury which meant he missed the win at West Ham on Saturday.

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However, Pereira is expected to return for the game at St James’s Park on Saturday, where Rodgers is also ready to bring back several mpre of the players he rested for the game at the London Stadium, including James Maddison, Harvey Barnes, Ben Chilwell, Youri Tielemans and Wilfred Ndidi along with top scorer Jamie Vardy,after the birth of his third child on Saturday.

Leicester go into the game lying 13 points behind runaway Premier League leaders Liverpool, who have a game in hand, but are a point ahead of Manchester City.

Portuguese international Pereira was voted the Foxes’ Player of the Season last year in his first season in English football.

And Rodgers has explained how Leicester will stick to their transfer philosophy in order to try and catch up to Liverpool and City.

He said: “Over time what we want to do is develop players if we’re going to compete with your Manchester City’s and Liverpool’s.

“We know we need extra quality and different profiles of players but it’s step by step. We’re not a club that can just go out and spend £80million, £90m a player. The club doesn’t work that way.

“We have to bring in a certain type of player, develop him and allow him to grow into our way.

“That’s why I’m here, to try to aid that development for the players and for the team and create a culture that can hopefully allow us to sustain European football.

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“We’ve got some fantastic players but of course everybody would like to improve. The players have to be affordable and available for that.

“But that’s something the club will look after – they’re very, very good at that recruitment side. If the club can get them, then I’m sure they will.”



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