Leicester City are cruising at the top of the Championship and are 11 points clear of Southampton who are in second place. However, the Foxes failed to strengthen the squad during the January transfer window.
Head coach Enzo Maresca was dealt a massive blow when it was announced that loanee Cesare Casadei would be recalled from his stint at the King Power Stadium by Premier League strugglers Chelsea. The Italian midfielder was an important player under Maresca, making 25 appearances in all competitions and recording five goal contributions.
Nevertheless, Leicester City were eyeing up a replacement for the 21-year-old during the winter window and were keen to sign Internazionale’s out-of-favour EURO 2021 winner Stefano Sensi, whose contract expires at the end of the current campaign. The deal looked signed, sealed and delivered and the Serie A giants were willing to part ways with the midfielder for just £2.5 million, as per Calciomercato.
— Inter (@Inter) July 18, 2023
However, there was a twist to the saga. As was reported by Gazzetta dello Sport, via Sempre Inter, the Nerazzurri wanted to leave the sale as long as possible due to suspensions to both Nicolo Barella and Hakan Calhanoglu.
In the end, no move ever came to fruition and the 28-year-old will now stay at the San Siro until the summer when he could potentially leave for free at the expiry of his current deal.
Tuttsport, via Sport Witness, have now revealed that Sensi never completed a move to Leicester City as the former Premier League champions annoyed last season’s Champions League finalists after attempting to negotiate a lesser fee at the last second.
The deal was agreed to be an upfront payment of £500,000 for the Italy international, with Inter earning a further £2 million upon the Foxes being promoted back to the English top flight, but the club tried to change these terms late in the window.
Furthermore, Tuttsport have claimed that both Sensi and Leicester boss Maresca were left “disappointed” as a result of the transfer collapsing.
Leicester City are certainly the favourites to win the Championship title given how far ahead the side are in the race. However, there is an argument to be made that Maresca’s squad is weaker following the January window as a result of losing Casadei.
The arrival of Sensi would have cushioned Casadei’s absence and offered the Foxes more depth and quality in the middle of the park than they already have. Nonetheless, it wasn’t to be, but Leicester can try again in the summer, possibly for free if the midfielder fails to sign a new contract with Inter.