Aston Villa lead chase to sign in-demand Leicester City attacker Harvey Barnes

James Maddison is also expected to depart but the Foxes could demand far lower fees if they are relegated

Miguel Delaney
Chief Football Writer
Wednesday 24 May 2023 14:41 BST
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Aston Villa are leading the race to sign Harvey Barnes in the summer, as Leicester City face an exodus of their best players whether they go down or not.

Financial drop-offs from the Covid pandemic have played into the 2016 Premier League champions' disastrous season, that has seen a number of rival clubs eye their best talent.

Among the most rated are Barnes and James Maddison, with Tottenham Hotspur also having considered both.

While Champions League qualifiers Newcastle United have long been seen as the most likely buyers for Maddison since the Saudi Arabian takeover, Barnes could have considerable competition.

Villa are currently seen as the likeliest destination due to a strong package the club can put together, as they show continued promise under Unai Emery. It is understood that being able to maintain connections to the area could be attractive.

Leicester's asking prices will be significantly affected if they stay up or go down, though, with rival clubs aware of their necessity to sell. It could bring up considerable value off the fees.

Last summer, the Foxes were unable to spend without offloading players and centre-back Wout Faes was their only senior capture.

They spent big in January to land defenders Harry Souttar and Victor Kristiansen, with Wesley Fofana and Kasper Schmeichel their only sales this year. Ayoze Perez left on loan in January.

Leicester sacked Brendan Rodgers after an awful run of form, but Dean Smith has been unable to turn around the side’s fortunes and they head into the final day needing to win to stand a chance of survival.

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