Leicester ready to break transfer record in bid to return to the Champions League

Shakespeare attended a recruitment meeting on Thursday and confirmed the Foxes, linked with Middlesbrough's Ben Gibson amongst others, would be prepared to break the bank

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The Independent Football

After getting a taste of it Leicester are eyeing a return to the Champions League and are prepared to break the transfer record to do it.

Fresh from winning the Premier League last season the Foxes broke their transfer record three times buying Nampalys Mendy for £13million, Ahmed Musa for £16m and Islam Slimani for £30m.

Craig Shakespeare attended a recruitment meeting on Thursday and confirmed the Foxes, linked with Middlesbrough's Ben Gibson amongst a number others, would be prepared to break the bank again.

"There could be (a chance). You look at the players out there, the Premier League is the place to play. A lot of players will want to come to this country, But it's down to the individual clubs to sort their own recruitment out. The squad doesn't need major surgery, I think it'll be minimal. I expect a few going and a few coming."

Shakespeare is still waiting for contract talks, with his deal as manager expiring at the end of the season, but would not be afraid to help shape the club's transfer policy even with the uncertainty over his position.

"You're in those meetings to give your opinion, that's what you're asked," he said. "It's about not always agreeing but then backing your argument up with why this player wouldn't be suitable. You have to have your own opinions, there might be five people in the room with four different opinions. If you get that recruitment right, you have more of a chance of succeeding."

Leicester go to Manchester City on Saturday without midfielder Danny Drinkwater after he was ruled out for the rest of the season with a thigh injury.

Shakespeare is looking for his eighth win in 11 league games and the Foxes would be in the top four if the season started when he took over in February.

Only Tottenham and Chelsea have earned more points in that time and Shakespeare believes his men could maintain that record over a season, which would mean a return to the Champions League.

"You'll always get a loss of form, injuries, but generally the squad can maintain that," he said. "They know what it's about in terms of winning matches and being competitive, you have to aim high. You can't have any free games, we have to be competitive in every one."

PA

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