Boubakary Soumare: Race for the ‘new Pogba’ heats up amid Leicester interest
Leicester City are set to make a move for Lille’s Boubakary Soumare this summer, with the young Frenchman having previously been linked with Manchester United.
The 22-year-old Soumare has enjoyed an increasingly impressive season with Lille and has become a regular in a side that is on course to claim a shock Ligue 1 title success.
Indeed, he claimed an assist on Friday as Lille eased to a 3-0 win over Lens, pushing them four points clear of Paris Saint-Germain, who are not in action again until Sunday.
What is the status of the transfer?
With a deal that expires in 2022, Soumare is set to depart Lille this summer – it is just a case of where.
FootMercato reports that Leicester have accelerated their interest in Soumare in recent days.
Furthermore, the Foxes face competition in the Premier League from Aston Villa, Everton and Wolves for the France Under-21 international. Man Utd’s interest, though, appears to have faded.
Milan, meanwhile, wanted Soumare in January and are reportedly eyeing him still. As the most financially secure Serie A giant – and a team putting its faith in youth – he is a player who fits the profile they are trying to sign.
Why do Leicester want Soumare
Soumare is a player who has shown increased maturity this season.
A product of the PSG youth system, he has long been a player much was expected of in France. Indeed, Soumare has been around the Lille first-team squad since 2017.
His trajectory, however, has not been a steady one. After breaking into the team regularly in 2019, he was consigned to the bench for a period over concerns over his attitude and focus amid transfer speculation.
These have been dispelled in recent times, with Soumare taking advantage of Renato Sanches’ injury-interrupted season to play on a regular basis.
His style has been compared to that of Paul Pogba, with Soumare similar in stature and attributes to the Manchester United midfielder. Indeed, it has been suggested that he could be a contender to replace the World Cup winner if and when he departs Old Trafford.
In reality, he is a more defensively focused player than Pogba – as a career tally of just one goal and one assist in 82 Ligue 1 matches is testimony of.