Leeds United promotion rivals 'in talks' for £21 million midfielder as manager draws on international contacts

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Leicester City are reportedly in talks for 28-year-old Inter Milan midfielder Stefano Sensi as Leeds United's promotion rivals look to consolidate their place at the summit of the Championship table.

The Foxes have surged to the top of the second tier standings during the first half of the 2023/24 campaign and do not appear as though they will relinquish their firm grip on first place having gone ten points clear of fellow automatic promotion chasers Ipswich Town.

Despite beating Leicester at the beginning of November, Leeds now trail the Midlands club by 17 points and will next face Enzo Maresca's side during mid-February when the Foxes visit Elland Road. By that point, Leicester may well have added reinforcements in the form of Inter Milan and Italy midfielder Stefano Sensi, who is reportedly in talks with the league leaders over a possible permanent move to the King Power Stadium.

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Transfers journalist Fabrizio Romano reported on Tuesday afternoon that an approach had been made: "Leicester City have approached Inter for Stefano Sensi deal today. Talks are taking place over permanent move. "Sassuolo are not working on Sensi deal, [Leicester] are interested and negotiations with Inter will continue."

Sensi joined the Champions League finalists in 2020 for a reported £21 million but has spent much of the past 18 months out on loan, while working himself back into Simone Inzaghi's side appears unlikely at this stage. Sensi's involvement this season amounts to four appearances and just 65 minutes in Serie A and Coppa Italia. The player's contract expires this summer, meaning Leicester are likely to be able to secure a cut-price deal for the nine-cap Azzurri international this month.

Maresca's arrival in Leicestershire last summer is thought to have helped Leicester land sought-after Chelsea loanee and fellow Italian Cesare Casadei. The manager's renown in the game, in addition to his nationality, is likely to be a factor in any move which sees Sensi join up with Maresca's title-chasing group.

Fellow promotion rivals Ipswich Town have added Lewis Travis from Blackburn Rovers and Brighton and Hove Albion's Jeremy Sarmiento on loan during this window, while Southampton's hopes of landing Liverpool youngster Fabio Carvalho were dashed as the attacking midfielder joined Hull City until the end of the season. Leeds are yet to add any new faces to Daniel Farke's squad with the manager stating he expects a quiet window.

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