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Leicester to make a move for Brighton defender to replace in-demand star

Lewis Dunk (left)

Bengaluru, July 5: Brighton and Hove Albion want a £40million-plus fee should Leicester come calling for Lewis Dunk if reports in England are to be believed.

The Foxes fear losing England defender Harry Maguire, 26, who is at the centre of a tug of war between the two Manchester giants.

Both of them have bid £70m but Leicester value him closer to £85m that will make the Englishman the most expensive defender in the world. Reports on Wednesday claimed that the centre-back wants to leave to play at a higher level and favours a switch to champions City.

Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers is said to be lining up moves for Maguire’s Three Lions colleagues James Tarkowski of Burnley and Dunk as possible replacements of the former Hull City man. Dunk, 27, has become synonymous with the Seagulls, having played his entire career for the club barring a brief loan spell at Bristol City in 2013.

The Brighton-born defender has one England cap to his name that he won in 2018 but has been omitted from recent squads despite his impressive form for the Seagulls. Brighton chief Graham Potter recently brought in centre-back cover when signing Matt Clarke from Portsmouth for an initial £3.4m in a deal that could rise to £5m.

Recently brought in manager Potter challenged Clarke to fight for his place with impressive Brighton duo of Dunk and Shane Duffy. The 22-year-old is yet to play in the Premier League but that lack of experience hasn't dented his fellow Premier League rookie boss' confidence.

Potter said: "His challenge now is to compete with our existing centre-halves — an area where we have a lot of competition — and break into our first team."

​Brighton will be hopeful that their valuation of Dunk is enough to cool the Foxes' interest in their vice-captain as he has been a pivotal figure in their rise from the Championship and success in the Premier League.

However, Leicester may recoup over £80m if they sell their own defensive stalwart and will be hoping to fill the gap as quickly as possible and may not be shy to break the bank.

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Story first published: Friday, July 5, 2019, 14:18 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 5, 2019
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