Leicester are stepping up their interest in the Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumaré and hope to beat a host of heavyweight European clubs to the 21-year-old’s signature.
Manchester City, Manchester United and Milan are among the clubs who have scouted the France Under-21 player but have not made an official approach to Lille, who sit top of the Ligue 1 table.
Soumaré is valued at around €35m (£30.3m) but has only one year left on his contract at Lille and Leicester hope to sign him for a cut-price fee if they can conclude a deal before the summer.
Leicester are in third place in the Premier League and on course to qualify for the Champions League, which would aid their chances of signing Soumaré, who has 10 caps for the French Under-21 team but has yet to make his full international debut.
Brendan Rodgers’s side beat Aston Villa 2-1 on Sunday after goals from Harvey Barnes and James Maddison. The Foxes are 10 points behind the leaders Manchester City and level on points with second-placed Manchester United.