Gokhan Inler to Leicester: Midfielder joins from Napoli

The Switzerland captain has signed a three-year deal

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Leicester City have completed the signing of Switzerland captain Gökhan Inler from Napoli for £3m. The midfielder signed a three-year deal at the King Power Stadium to become the club’s sixth signing of the summer.

The Leicester manager, Claudio Ranieri, has been chasing a new midfielder after failing to persuade Esteban Cambiasso to stay at the club. Ranieri has already signed N’Golo Kanté from Caen to increase his midfield options and Inler joins ahead of  Saturday’s visit of Tottenham Hotspur.

Leicester have won both of their opening games under Ranieri, beating Sunderland and West Ham, to sit joint top of the Premier League table.

Ranieri had been tight-lipped over his transfer plans after the game against West Ham on Saturday, but did confirm he wanted another midfielder. Asked about transfers last week, Ranieri said: “One more. A midfielder. I think one is enough. Of course, if two arrive then I’m happy.”

Inler, 31, joined Napoli from Udinese in 2011 and had played for Switzerland and Turkey at Under-21 level before he opted to represent the former, winning 84 caps.

He told Leicester’s official  website: “I’m very happy and proud to play here because we’ve been in discussions for a long time. I’ve spoken with the manager and I’m very happy to be here because it’s a nice team. I’ve watched them lots of times and I like them.

“The manager was important for me, also the director Jon Rudkin and the owners. For me the whole package was very positive because they wanted me and now I’ll give everything.

“For me it was not so easy because I had many, many teams [chasing me] but in the end I decided with my heart and I came to Leicester City.”

Meanwhile, another of Leicester’s summer recruits, Shinji Okazaki, has said he is reaping the benefit of changing his game to adapt to the demands of Premier League football.

Okazaki scored his first goal for the club in the 2-1 win over West Ham and is keen to continue putting the ball in the back of the net. “I wanted to score an important goal. This goal meant a lot to me, because it was the first goal for the match,” the 29-year-old striker said.

“Interestingly, prior to coming to the Premier League, I would have trapped the ball, but my instinct told me that I needed to react quickly at this level and I took the chance and volleyed the ball instead,” he added.

Okazaki, who scored 37 goals in four and a half years in the Bundesliga, also wants to make a defensive contribution. “I think I can contribute defensively, but my main intention is to be a goalscorer, as I believe otherwise, I won’t get recognition,” the Japan international said.

“Scoring my first ever Premier League goal at this second match is huge for me. But, I will carry on scoring, this is just the beginning for me.”

PA

Comments