Gokhan Inler to Leicester City: Foxes closing in on Napoli midfielder

Foxes hopeful of adding 'champion' Swiss international to add steal to their midfield

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The Independent Football

Leicester City are closing in on a £4.8m deal to sign Napoli midfielder Gökhan Inler on a three-year contract.

Foxes manager Claudio Ranieri has been looking for a 'champion' to replace former Real Madrid and Inter Milan star Esteban Cambiasso after the Argentine rejected a new contract in favour of signing a deal with Olympiacos.

An agreement has been reached in principal, beating off interest from Schalke and Beşiktaş, but Inler will not be available for selection ahead of the trip to face West Ham at Upton Park this weekend.

Speaking at his weekly press conference on Thursday, Ranieri stressed that any deal for the 31-year-old isn't yet 'concrete'.

He said: "I want to speak when there is something concrete. I think the club are speaking to a lot of players and I hope, as soon as it is possible, one player will arrive."

Leicester have been in pursuit of Inler, who has earned 83 caps for Switzerland, for the last month despite initially being rejected by the former Udinese man.

But, according to reports, Ranieri refused to be beaten and proceeded to call Inler on a daily basis to explain the merits of following him to the Premier League.

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri

After starting his career with Basel, Inler went on to join FC Aarau, before making a move to Italy in 2007 where he sprung to prominence.

Meanwhile, David Nugent is expected to leave the East Midlands after Leicester accepted an offer in the region of £4m from Championship side Middlesbrough for the former England striker.

"It's the same with Nugent," Ranieri said. "I want to wait and see if it is good for him and look what happens."