Leicester open discussions with Porto over in-demand defender

As per a report from Portuguese outlet A Bola, Premier League outfit Leicester City have made contact with Porto regarding a move for full-back Ricardo Pereira.

Gifted stopper

Pereira, a highly-regarded Portuguese international, made the move to Porto in the summer of 2013, but initially struggled for game-time.

As such, the versatile stopper, who can play either at right or left-back and even on the wing when required, was sent out on a two-year loan spell to Ligue 1 outfit Nice from 2015-2017.

And it was with Les Aiglons that the Vitoria Guimaraes youth product began to showcase his true potential, proving a dependable defensive presence and consistent threat in attacking areas (2 goals and 8 assists during his two campaigns in Ligue 1).

MARINHA GRANDE, PORTUGAL – MARCH 26: Portugal’s defender Ricardo Pereira in action during the U21 International Friendly between Portugal and Denmark on March 26, 2015 in Marinha Grande, Portugal. (Photo by Gulater Fatia/Getty Images)

Suitors

Pereira’s impressive form at the Allianz Riviera led to inevitable links with moves to a number of European heavyweights, with Tottenham and Juventus having been touted as potential destinations for much of last summer’s transfer window.

In the end, though, the 24-year-old returned to Porto, since going on to enjoy an impressive campaign to date.

To this point since returning to the Estádio do Dragão, Pereira has managed 28 appearances between the league and Champions League, racking up 2 goals and 5 assists in the process.

King Power bound?

And, as per the aforementioned report from A Bola this afternoon, the latest club to express an interest in the signature of Pereira are Premier League outfit Leicester City.

The report claims that officials from the Foxes were in Portugal over the weekend to discuss the stopper’s availability with Porto, with the Dragoes open to a summer sale in their bid to stay in line with Financial Fair Play restrictions.

The board at the King Power Stadium are ready to offer up to 25 million Euro for Pereira, with the 2015/16 Premier League champions eager to get a deal done early to fend off the interest of some of European football’s biggest clubs.

A move to Leicester would mark a reunion for Pereira and Foxes’ boss Claude Puel, who previously spent time together at Nice.

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