Why Leicester City must wait before making summer move for Salif Sane
According to a report from Athletic, Leicester City asked about the availability of Schalke defender Salif Sane in the summer and retain interest as they look to sign a centre-back in January.
Salif Sane, 29, joined Schalke from Hannover last summer and enjoyed a good debut season at the club, scoring two goals in 30 Bundesliga appearances.
The Senegal international had hit the ground running in the new campaign as he scored two goals in 10 appearances before suffering a knee injury against FC Augsburg.
The defender suffered a meniscus tear in his left knee and surgery was required. Now, Sane is expected to be out for four months, ruining any potential January move to Leicester. That being said, the Foxes should look out for other options in central defence when the transfer market reopens.
Harry Maguire left Leicester in the summer to join Manchester United. Though centre-back Caglar Soyuncu has filled the void left by Maguire with some really strong displays, Brendan Rodgers must add more competition in the heart of his defence.
The Foxes may not be able to sign Sane in January but they must keep tabs on him after he returns from his knee injury. Before the injury, Sane was really going strong for Schalke, who have made a good start to the new campaign, and they find themselves just three points adrift of league leaders Borussia Monchengladbach.
Since joining from Hannover last summer, the French-born Senegalese has made 50 appearances across all competitions at the Veltins Arena, scoring six goals. Standing at 6ft 5in, Sane is an absolute powerhouse known for his strength, power and aerial ability.
He is a massive threat from set-pieces and has scored 20 goals since arriving in Germany back in 2013, a healthy return for a central defender. In the video below, one can see Sane’s playing style and the qualities he possesses, with and without the ball.
Given his stature and ball-playing ability, Sane could be the perfect replacement for the departed Maguire. Leicester have made a solid start under Rodgers and are placed 2nd behind runaway leaders Liverpool.
The Midlands club have been in fine form since the start of the campaign, with Jonny Evans and Caglar Soyuncu stabilizing the defence.
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Evans and Soyuncu have formed a formidable partnership at the back, helping the Foxes achieve the best defensive record in the division.
However, with Evans 31 and Wes Morgan set to turn 36 in January, defensive reinforcements are a must if Leicester are to challenge for silverware under Rodgers.
It remains to be seen whether or not Leicester will sign a defender in January. Signing Sane in the New Year isn’t possible but if he comes back stronger from injury and helps Schalke achieve a respectable finish in the Bundesliga, the Foxes must then make a move for the Senegalese in the summer of 2020.