Some transfers (cough Mahrez cough) seem to roll on forever, never picking up much speed but never going away; an inevitable tectonic drift away from their club that can take weeks or months. Others are not like that. Yesterday it was reported that Leicester City had interest in Sevilla’s Vicente Iborra. Today, Sevilla have announced that the clubs have agreed a fee, with the 29 year old expected in Leicester today for a medical.
The move not only seemingly came from nowhere, it’s also unexpected in that it fits almost none of the criteria that the Foxes have appeared to be looking for this summer. He’s not young and he’s neither a centre back nor a forward.
That’s not to say the move would be a bad one. Iborra has done very well for himself in his four years with Sevilla, winning the Europa League three times. The price tag of £12m that’s being mentioned seems to be pretty cheap for a player of his known quality, even at 29.
The only question about him is the fit. He has the size and physicality to deal with not just the Premier League, but in particular our direct style, but where would he play? Ndidi, you’d think, has earned himself a regular starting place and, while Drinkwater had a down season, when back to full fitness I wouldn’t expect Shakespeare to take him out of the team.
4 - No player scored more goals as a sub than Vicente Iborra in La Liga in 2016/17 (joint-high with Morata and Sarabia). Spark. pic.twitter.com/xJzKZMh7n0— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) July 4, 2017
Then again, maybe that’s just the price of a backup midfielder these days. It could also suggest a change in shape, as Shakespeare molds the team into his own. He does offer some different qualities to either of the current pair which, as with Harry Maguire, we’ll try to cover if and when the deal gets across the line.
Chickens shouldn’t be counted there, however, as he had agreed to join Sunderland around this time last year, but the deal fell apart at the last minute as Sevilla appeared to change their minds. Considering the Spanish club’s official statement included that he would be back tomorrow to bid farewell to the fans, that does seem unlikely. Personal terms aren’t necessarily sorted yet though, and these things are never done until you see him posing with a Leicester shirt (although the latest social media trend appears to be finding new and unusual ways to announce signings, so we’ll see).