Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is considering a remarkable player-plus-cash bid for Leicester midfielder Wilfred Ndidi, with Granit Xhaka potentially moving the other way.
Arteta is drawing up a shortlist of players to refresh his squad at Arsenal after being confirmed as manager last week.
The 23-year-old has been an integral part of Leicester’s surge up to second in the Premier League table, with 20 appearances and two goals in all competitions so far this campaign.
Tempting Leicester into talks will be difficult during the mid-season transfer window, with boss Brendan Rodgers looking to consolidate their position in the top four. Leicester are also in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup, where they will meet Aston Villa.
When Leicester defeated Unai Emery’s Arsenal in November, Rodgers heralded Ndidi’s role in his team.
‘Ndidi is absolutely key but for any team you need a good defensive midfield player that can do a lot of the dirty work as they say,’ Rodgers said.
‘He smells danger. He can cover the ground so fast, he can press up to the ball, he can cover in.
‘Tactically he is improving and playing better. He is playing in a specific position we haven’t played before where he can run and he has got a clear role to sit and protect and be that link player.
‘With the ball he is getting better. His game is simple. He just needs to serve the players in front of him and be an option to play off the centre-halves and full-backs and continuity in the game.’
Switzerland midfielder Xhaka appears destined to depart Arsenal after reacting angrily to being substituted off during the club’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace in October.
He appeared to shout ‘f*** off’ at fans as he made his way off of the pitch and towards the Arsenal dugout in the Premier League clash with his team’s London rivals.