Leicester City striker splurge to continue with Shinji Okazaki
Leicester City, 7/2 with Coral to finish bottom of the Premier League, continue to plot their audacious escape from the drop zone by snapping up striker reinforcements.
After swooping for Croatian attacker Andrej Kramaric, who will join this January subject to a work permit, next on Nigel Pearson’s list appears to be Japan sharpshooter Shinji Okazaki.
The Mainz frontman has attracted attention following his explosive antics in the Bundesliga, where Okazaki has grabbed 15 goals last campaign and has already racked up eight this season.
A prolific poacher, Okazaki is currently impressing for his nation at the Asian Cup, and put in a fine performance for the Blue Samurai in their first Group D game against Palestine.
The talented 28-year-old was on target to net Japan’s second goal, popping up in the penalty area to pounce on Shinji Kagawa’s deflected shot.
It is this predatory instinct that will have impressed Pearson but, as Okazaki displayed with some fine footwork and link-up play last time out for his nation, there is more in the former Stuttgart striker’s locker than just fantastic finishing.
Current misfiring Leicester City strikers Leonardo Ulloa and Jamie Vardy will be feeling the pressure, as the pair have failed to be consistent despite a bright start to the season.
The Foxes, who are currently propping up the Premier League, need to take decisive action in the January sales and it seems they are preparing to take the first steps to freshening up their squad.
Okazaki, who can also boast plenty of international experience, having struck 41 times in 84 caps, would be an excellent signing but the Foxes face a fierce task to pry him away from Mainz.
The Bundesliga battlers have already rejected an £8m bid for the Blue Samurai superstar, but it appears Okazaki favours a move to England.
Speaking recently, the striker stated “I haven’t heard all the details personally and I am not overvaluing myself but obviously it is nice to get that kind of offer.
“It has been a dream of mine since my youth to play in the Premier League and I have been watching the Premier League since I turned pro.”
Okazaki has since said he will ignore speculation and “focus on the Asian Cup” but, if the highly-rated forward continues to dazzle in Australia with Japan, who are 15/8 favourites to win the tournament, it won’t be long before Leicester come calling again.