Leicester's Rodgers wants midfielder in before transfer window shuts

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers is confident they can complete the signing of a midfielder before the transfer deadline on Monday.

Leicester, who dropped to fourth in the Premier League after Sunday’s 3-1 home defeat by Leeds United, are looking to bolster their squad following the departure of attacking midfielder Demarai Gray to Bayer Leverkusen.

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Dennis Praet (thigh) and Wilfred Ndidi (hamstring) are out due to injury and Rodgers is looking to provide cover for Youri Tielemans and James Maddison.

Asked if he was confident a new recruit could arrive on deadline day, Rodgers told reporters: “Yes. It’ll be good for the team, we have a gap there so the club will work hard at looking to get someone in.

“Our idea is to get a midfield player. If we can do that, then great.”

Media reports have linked Leicester with a move for Arsenal’s Ainsley Maitland-Niles or for Watford’s Nathaniel Chalobah, who Rodgers worked with during his spell at Chelsea’s academy.

“I know Nathaniel from my time working with him at Chelsea, but I know lots of players … there are a number of players that we’re looking at,” Rodgers said.

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Rodgers eyes Gray replacement and Vardy return to revive Leicester's title challenge

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers is confident his side will make a midfield signing on transfer deadline day and says that and the return of Jamie Vardy will fire up the squad for the second half the season.

The Foxes’ unbeaten run dating back to December 20 was snapped with a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Leeds United on Sunday.

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Leicester felt the absence of Vardy who is on his way back to fitness following groin surgery, and Rodgers is hopeful the forward’s return and the signing of a player to replace Demarti Gray following his move to Bayer Leverkusen will revive their title bid.

“It’ll be good for the team, we have a gap there so the club will work hard at looking to get someone in,” Rodgers said. “Our idea is to get a midfield player. If we can do that, then great.”

Leicester have been linked with Watford’s Nathaniel Chalobah, and Rodgers said: “I know Nathaniel from my time working with him at Chelsea, but I know lots of players and there are a number of players that we’re looking at.”

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“Hopefully fairly soon the two boys (Vardy and Wilfried Ndidi) will be back and it gives us a nice strong squad,” Rodgers added.

When Jamie’s not available, we find other ways. We have done through the season.

“Today just wasn’t our day. We didn’t defend well and couldn’t take chances.”

Reflecting on the defeat to Leeds, which left Leicester five points behind leaders Manchester City, Rodgers added: “We’ve been on a fantastic run and it was always going to come to an end at some point. They deserved to win.

“We started well but gave away a cheap goal so quickly after ours. We had opportunities, but they were giving us problems with their running against the backline.

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“We gave the ball away and they punished us in transition. We weren’t quite at our level today and we have to give them credit.”

With additional reporting from Reuters

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Leverkusen sign midfielder Gray from Leicester City

The 24-year-old, who had fallen out of favour under Leicester coach Brendan Rodgers, is to boost Leverkusen’s attacking power, with the Bundesliga club struggling recently.

Leverkusen, who only a few weeks ago led the Bundesliga standings, have won just one of their last seven league matches. They lost 1-0 to RB Leipzig on Saturday to drop to fourth place, 13 points off leaders Bayern Munich.

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They have already brought in defenders Timothy Fosu-Mensah from Manchester United and Jeremie Frimpong from Celtic in this transfer window.

“I have seen how Leverkusen like to attack, to play aggressive and how they dominate the game through possession. I fit well in this,” Gray said.

There were no financial details available on the transfer, with the player’s contract with Leicester running out in the summer.

“Thanks to his experiences from the Premier League, Demarai is a player who can instantly help us,” said Leverkusen sports director Simon Rolfes.

Additional reporting from Reuters

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Leicester City v Leeds United – Premier League LIVE

Follow the Premier League live Football match between Leicester City and Leeds United with Eurosport. The match starts at 15:00 on 31 January 2021.
Who will come out on top in the battle of the managers: Brendan Rodgers or Marcelo Bielsa? Find out by following our live matchcast.

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Parker's Picks: Arsenal to beat United, Chelsea to win

Eurosport’s resident football expert Paul Parker has made his predictions for this weekend’s Premier League action, and sees a tough time for Manchester United.

The Eurosport expert believes that Manchester City will fight past Sheffield United, and Chelsea will beat Burnley in Thomas Tuchel’s second game in charge.

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He also thinks that an in-form West Ham have the pressure off and should beat Liverpool at the London Stadium, and that West Brom will earn a point against Fulham.

Do you agree with Paul’s picks for this run of Premier League games? If not, let us know on Twitter… @Eurosport_UK

Manchester City v Sheffield United – Saturday 15:00

Lightning isn’t going to strike twice in the same town, and Manchester City are in too good shape to fall into the same trap that United did. They have a more experienced manager who can trust his players not to make mistakes.

They are stronger defensively and have more resilience, and this City side can match Sheffield United for strength and stamina.

Pep Guardiola’s men also are able to score without centre forwards. They have the tactical sophistication to break through their opponents’ defence, but they will have to work hard. In Sheffield United they face a team that works for their manager and will keep them honest.

Prediction: 3-0

West Brom v Fulham – Saturday 15:00

Against Brighton, Fulham looked like they were never going to score. They only had a couple of decent counterattacks, but they did manage to improve when they introduced Aleksandar Mitrovic.

The thing about Mitrovic is that he’s an old-fashioned striker, like the ones we’re used to from the 1980s, but he has modern technical ability, so he can make something happen.

West Brom, meanwhile, struggle at home and, when they returned from the coronavirus break, they were even having a hard time when they were promoted last year. Since then, they’ve been vulnerable at the back and there’s been no change since the appointment of Sam Allardyce.

Perhaps the lack of fans is a problem, with no uplift from the change in mood with a new manager. I think both of them will struggle to score.

Prediction: 0-0

Arsenal v Man Utd – Saturday 17:30

The Sheffield United result had been in the post for a while for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United seemed a little complacent. It seemed like at 1-1 they assumed it would be destined that they would eventually win, but they let it go again with some slack defending. Defenders failed to close the ball down, and instead they just put their hands behind their backs and stood still. You might be worried about handball, but you have to defend properly and only then worry about how the rules are going to be applied.

Arsenal had a poor time in the FA Cup against Southampton, and it was a poor decision from Mikel Arteta. He should have tried harder to retain a trophy, but took the game for granted instead. He made amends a few days later with a comprehensive win against the same opponents, and their Premier League form remains excellent.

I think that Arsenal now go into the weekend’s game as the favourites over United.

Prediction: 2-0

Chelsea v Burnley – Sunday 12:00

Burnley are on a roll. They’ve once again got themselves into the second half of the season and find themselves ready to kick on.

You can never write Sean Dyche’s side off, and their fightback against a decent Aston Villa side was evidence of that.

Chelsea struggle to break down resolute sides as we saw in their game against Wolves and Burnley have a solid defence, but I don’t think that will be enough at the weekend.

It sounds crazy but one point after two games would put the pressure on Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea. He can’t afford a poor result and that’s why I think the home side will take all three points.

Thomas Tuchel, Manager of Chelsea embraces Mason Mount of Chelsea during the Premier League match between Chelsea and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Stamford Bridge on January 27

Image credit: Getty Images

Prediction: 2-1

West Ham v Liverpool – Sunday 16:30

I think there’s a belief at West Ham that they are unbeatable. They’ve been on a run that has taken them to fourth in the Premier League and could even end the season in the Champions League spots, which would be their best finish in years.

It was against Doncaster Rovers, admittedly, but their win in the FA Cup was instructive. David Moyes brought some reserve players into the team and they were ruthless. They had a good attitude, and could have won by more. They were frighting in attack and dominated throughout.

I wonder if West Ham are one of the sides who are getting a benefit from the coronavirus restrictions. The fans at the London Stadium have always been negative since the move from Upton Park, and without them now the atmosphere has changed. They can play with freedom now, and they are playing collectively and individually consistently.

Most importantly, Michail Antonio is fully fit and I think with him, West Ham can beat Liverpool, who were much improved against a ragged Tottenham on Thursday night.

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Prediction: 1-0

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El Leicester se mantiene en la zona noble con el empate

Cambios

Nampalys Mendy (41′, Onyinye Ndidi), Cengiz Ünder (67′, Albrighton), Caglar Soyuncu (76′, Evans), Alex Iwobi (79′, Mason Holgate), Gylfi Sigurdsson (84′, James), Coleman (88′, Calvert-Lewin)

Goles

1-0, 29′: James, 1-1, 66′: Tielemans

Tarjetas

Arbitro: Mike Dean
Arbitro VAR: Simon Hooper
James Justin (44′,Amarilla) James (62′,Amarilla

Everton v Leicester City – LIVE

Follow the Premier League live Football match between Everton and Leicester City with Eurosport. The match starts at 21:15 on 27 January 2021.
Who will come out on top in the battle of the managers: Carlo Ancelotti or Brendan Rodgers? Find out by following our live matchcast.

Catch the latest Everton and Leicester City news and find up to date Football standings, results, top scorers and previous winners.
Football fans can find the latest Football news, interviews, expert commentary and watch free replays. See detailed profiles for Everton and Leicester City. Catch all the upcoming competitions. Make Eurosport your go-to source for sports online from Football to cycling, F1, winter sports and more. Enjoy live streaming of this season’s top sports competitions.
Tickets: Barclays Premier League official site