Premier League duo Crystal Palace and Leicester City are locked in a tug-of-war for Alessandro Cannataro after the Eagles signalled their intention to submit an 11th hour approach to the former Inter Milan midfielder.
The 20-year-old is a free agent after his San Siro contract was terminated with a year still to run and was expected to sign for the Foxes this weekend after undergoing a short trial in the East Midlands.
The Independent believes that Leicester remain the front-runners for Cannataro's signature but Palace are confident of luring him to Selhurst Park should there be any complications. Newly promoted Watford are also monitoring the situation.
The former Inter youth product spent seven years with the Italian giants but has recently posted a series of cryptic photographs on social media suggesting a move to English football was imminent.
Cannataro, who captained his country at Under-19 level, would give new Foxes manager Claudio Ranieri some back-up in midfield as he looks to strengthen his side following Esteban Cambiasso's exit.
The 63-year-old is also reportedly close to securing the £5.6m signing of Caen midfielder N'Golo Kanté while the club are waiting to hear back from Chile international Charles Aránguiz.
The Foxes have agreed a £10.6m deal with Internacional for Aránguiz, outbidding Marseille and Bayer Leverkusen, but have struggled to persuade the 26-year-old to sign a lucrative contract.
The Puente Alto-born midfielder has informed his advisors that he would like to play Champions League football this season but Vitorio Piffero, the Internacional president, has since implied it would be 'impossible' to reject the package offered by the Premier League outfit.Reuse content