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Transfer Rumors: Leicester poised to bolster defense

Three defenders have been on Leicester City's transfer radar, all available for little to no money this summer.

Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

When analyzing Leicester City this season, many are quick to point out the offensive prowess of Jamie Vardy, the midfield quartet - Riyad Mahrez, Mark Albrighton, Danny Drinkwater, and N'Golo Kante, and of course the goalkeeping of Kasper Schmeichel.

However, the defense has been left on the backburner. Leicester's rearguard has performed well this season, but at times has led to a few anxious moments.

With Wes Morgan, Christian Fuchs, Robert Huth, and Danny Simpson as first-choice defenders, the lack of depth defensively, especially with Richie De Laet and Yohan Benalouane on loan, is rather disconcerting.

With the summer transfer window fast approaching, the Foxes have been linked with various moves for world-class defenders who will be available at little to no cost.

Philippe Mexes (A.C. Milan), Nicolas N'Koulou (Marseille), and Peter Pekarik (Hertha Berlin) could all be headed to Leicester next season.

Mexes, a former French international, has fallen out of favor with Milan. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, Milan may not be able to re-sign Mexes nest season. If he is to be left unsigned, his move out of Milan would be on a free transfer.

At 34-years-old, Mexes is close to retiring from professional football. His experience and leadership could be valuable at Leicester, even for a short amount of time. And with a no transfer fee needed to acquire the defender, his stock becomes much more desirable for a low-money team like Leicester.

Cameroonian international N'Koulou has been a regular starter for Marseille this season. With the French club crumbling to the bottom of the Ligue 1 table this season, N'Koulou has become dissatisfied with his current situation in France and has stated his desire to leave this summer.

With top offers from Schalke, Valencia, and Leicester, the Cameroonian is poised to raise the stakes for his signing this summer. Leicester could offer something that the other two clubs couldn't possible compete with - an opportunity to play in the UEFA Champions League.

N'Koulou, at 26-years-old, is an experienced center back who could offer valuable depth at Leicester if he is acquired next season.

Pekarik is the only one of the three defenders whose contract is not set to expire this summer. The right back has been in Germany since 2009, but Leicester are prepared to make an offer for the Slovakian.

Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri has prioritized a summer move for a right-back as competition for Danny Simpson, and Pekarik is looking like a suitable option. Pekarik is a regular for both his club and country.

Ranieri has also expressed interest in signing a marquis goalkeeper and an additional striker for European competition next season. If Leicester are to win the title this season, acquiring some brand new faces may become much easier.