leicester city
Jamie Vardy [second from right] could be in for competition for places next season at Leicester. Pictured: Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri, Kasper Schmeichel and Jamie Vardy celebrate winning the Barclays Premier League this season.Reuters

While we speculate the number of players leaving Premier League champions Leicester City this summer, let us not forget the fact that they will be playing in the UEFA Champions League for the first time next season. Therefore, the Foxes are also keeping a close tab on the transfer market to rope in some key players ahead of the 2016-17 season.

According to the Guardian, Claudio Ranieri's side could be shattering the club's transfer record by roping in La Liga forward Lucas Perez, who is currently the top scorer for Deportivo La Coruna. Acquiring Lucas can reportedly give more attacking options for Leicester in their next season and also provide Jamie Vardy the much-needed competition up front.

The 27-year-old Spaniard, who has a contract with Deportivo until the summer of 2019, has 17 goals and 10 assists from 35 games so far in the Spanish league this season.

Apart from Lucas, Ranieri is also hoping to sign Sporting Gijon defender Luis Hernandez for free. Expected to be a back-up for Wes Morgan and Robert Huth at the heart of the Leicester City defence, Hernandez, 26, joined the Spanish side in 2013 and his contract expires on June 30.

Meanwhile, Algerian international and Riyad Mahrez's national teammate Islam Slimani may also join Leicester this summer, according to another Guardian story. The 27-year-old striker, who currently plays for Portuguese giants Sporting CP, was the Algerian Footballer of the Year in 2013. He has 26 goals from 32 games in the Portuguese top flight this season.

Either Benfica or Sporting will win the Portuguese league title this weekend. 

Also, the Sun has reported that Ranieri is closely following Italian striker Gianluca Lapadula, who currently plays for Serie B side Pescara. The 26-year-old forward has as many as 24 goals and 10 assists in 38 games in the the second-highest Italian football league division.

"I just want some new players who are at the level of my starters and greater tactical coordination for the team," Ranieri has been quoted as saying by the Sun. "We also look to Italy for the market. Lapadula is very good. We've been following him for a while."

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