Analysis: Quiet or busy January transfer window in
store for Leicester City?
Wilfred Ndidi joined Leicester City in the January transfer window of 2017 | Photo; Getty/ Plumb Images

With Christmas time arriving, it means that the January transfer window is slowly coming into focus for managers around the world.

Clubs throughout the Premier League will be aiming to bolster their squads ahead of a relegation battle or title fight and Leicester City are no different.

Sitting second in the table and having already booked their place in the UEFA Europa League knockout rounds, the campaign only looks to set to be getting busier for Brendan Rodgers, which could lead to the Foxes electing to strengthen their side. Leicester were quiet in the window last season, a possible reason behind their challenge for the UEFA Champions League positions collapsing.

What moves could the East-Midlanders make in the January market to ensure history does not repeat itself?

Wide option

One condition of any Leicester business could be who the club allow to depart the King Power Stadium. A player who is seemingly close to the exit door is winger Demarai Gray. He is out of contract at the end of the campaign, with Foxes’ boss Rodgers going as far as suggesting that Gray is free to leave.

The Northern-Irishman said: “It's pretty clear with Demarai that he's looking to move on.

"His attitude to training has been first class, he has been very professional, but he is at the stage of his career where he has been here a long time and hasn't maybe nailed down a place. A fresh start may be the course for him.”

Should Gray depart in the January window, that would leave the Foxes with just Harvey Barnes, Cengiz Under, Marc Albrighton and Ayoze Perez as their options for wide positions. That could lead to the club attempting to strengthen in that position throughout January.

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Back-up striker

Another position that depends on the future of a current Fox is at striker. Jamie Vardy is without doubt the first-choice forward at the King Power Stadium having won the Golden Boot last season and already plundered 11 goals in the league this season.

He is supported by ample deputy Kelechi Iheanacho, whilst Islam Slimani remains an option. Like Gray however, the Algerian forward, signed from Sporting Clube de Portugal in 2016, has been starved of league action and looks highly unlikely to have a future at the club.

If he elects to potentially follow Gray out of the exit door, Leicester could well be tempted to bring in another forward. After all, should either Vardy or Iheanacho suffer with injury, then the Foxes would be down to just one option to lead the line, which would not be conducive to a club set to play in the Premier League, UEFA Europa League and FA Cup after Christmas.

It might be unwise to assume that the club would splash out on a forward to challenge Vardy as a first-choice immediately but a young European striker with an eye on the future could certainly be a useful addition.

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No movement?

Should neither of Gray nor Slimani leave, Rodgers could indeed decide to follow Leicester City’s regular pattern when approaching the January transfer window – less is more.

Since earning promotion back to the top-flight in 2014, the Foxes have rarely invested all that much into the winter window. The only exceptions to that general rule were the big-money arrivals of Andrej Kramaric from Rijeka in 2015, as well as Wilfred Ndidi from Belgian outfit Genk in 2017 for a fee of approximately £15m.

Away from that duo, the likes of Robert Huth, Molla Wague, Youri Tielemans and Ryan Bennett all signed loan deals at the King Power Stadium mid-season to plug glaring gaps within the squad. This time however, there does not appear to be a huge weakness so there might be very little movement in the East Midlands.

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