Leicester line up Shane Duffy as replacement for Harry Maguire
Leicester would potentially make a big profit and replace one quality defender and set-piece demon with another... from Derry.
Brighton and Hove Albion are ripe for the picking, this summer. Shane Duffy and Lewis Dunk are the two players new boss Graham Potter cannot afford to lose.
It is unfortunate, then, that Leicester City are looking at both defenders as options should they get close to the £85 million they want for Harry Maguire.
Last summer, Manchester United baulked at the £70m Leicester were asking for. Ed Woodward and his transfer team, in their eternal footballing wisdom, decided going with Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof and the injury-prone Eric Bailly was the best way to attack the Premier League and Europe.
As we all know now - and as most predicted when the 2018 summer transfer window closed - that was a bad idea. United shipped 54 goals - their worst league record in 40 years - and went 13 games without keeping a clean sheet.
So, although the World Cup hype around Maguire may have died down, United return to Leicester in a greater, dire need to get in a defensive leader. City recognise this so the asking price for Maguire has shot up. Manchester City are said to be interested in the Foxes star but this could just be a scare-mongering tactic that is being mooted to part United with some extra cash.
Leicester have Maguire signed to a long-term contract and Brendan Rodgers does not want to lose him, but if the club can get north of £80m for the 26-year-old, they would let him leave.
City have been looking at replacements with league experience and pedigree. That is where Dunk, Duffy and Burnley's James Tarkowski come in.
Dunk is rated at £40m while Tarkowski would be around £30m. Duffy is valued lower again, around £25m, but that would not be the first time he has been underestimated...
The Derry native would be a fine capture by the 2015/16 league winners, has led the way for clearances in the Premier League for the past two seasons and is a genuine danger from set-pieces.
SportsJOE understands that Shane Duffy is being strongly considered by Leicester and that a deal would be quickly kicked into gear should Maguire leave the King Power stadium.
Asked about Duffy after he scored in Ireland's draw with Denmark, in May, Mick McCarthy said:
"He's just a really good Premier League centre half which is a compliment in itself. In both boxes he's fabulous and he’s pretty much unplayable if we get the delivery in, get the run right, the movement right and the ball right, he's very difficult to stop."
There is a small collective of Irish players in the Premier League so it will be interesting to watch how the Maguire move could set off some transfer dominos that includes one of our very best.