Caglar Soyuncu, Youri Tielemans, Jonny Evans, and Daniel Amartey are just a few of the players whose contracts are coming to an end at the King Power Stadium.
While January provides an opportunity to bring players in, it also allows players to organize their routes out, and not just through the transfer window.
When the new year begins, seven Leicester City players will enter the final six months of their deals at the King Power Stadium. That means they will be able to sign pre-contract agreements with overseas clubs ready to move on a free in the summer.
This time last year, City only had third-choice goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic in this situation. Now they have seven players, and several of them are key to the club’s fortunes. Here, we run down what could happen to each of them.
This should be a simple task. Jonny Evans is the City captain, he enjoys his time at the club, and manager Brendan Rodgers thinks highly of him, even predicting that he will follow in the footsteps of Thiago Silva and play well into his late 30s.
Furthermore, with uncertainties about the futures of other center-backs, City will not want to complicate matters by releasing another veteran player from that position. The only question will be how long the contract will be and how many years City is ready to commit to, considering Evans’ 35th birthday in January.
Just one Premier League start this season shows the way Caglar Soyuncu’s journey at City is heading. It’s a bleak end for a player who was once rated as one of the Premier League’s best center-halves.
He thought he would be leaving last summer, and may now think he’s got a chance of leaving in January, particularly with the likes of Roma and Atletico Madrid reportedly sniffing around. If he doesn’t get his move next month, he will be off in the summer as a new deal at this stage is extremely unlikely.
Daniel Amartey’s future is possibly the most uncertain of the septet here. On the surface, the Ghanaian appears to be a backup, and his dismissal would not be a major issue.
But, with Soyuncu and Jannik Vestergaard ready to leave, injuries frequently leaving gaps that Amartey must fill, and the effectiveness of his recent relationship with Wout Faes, it seems like keeping him around would be a wise decision. Amartey can do a job even if he’s the fourth-choice center-back.
It’s now approaching a year since Ryan Bertrand’s last City appearance, and there appears to be no sign of him recovering from his knee injury any time soon, with the left-back still not out on the training pitches. Because of his injury and those of Ricardo Pereira and James Justin, City is looking to sign a new full-back in January, and that will further reduce the need to extend Bertrand’s deal.
There is an option in his contract for a 12-month extension, but it would be surprising if City were to take that up. Bertrand may already have played his last game for the club.
Nine months into Brendan Rodgers’ tenure, he was talking about how Papy Mendy would be heading to pastures new. In the six months after that, the midfielder won over the manager and earned himself a new three-year deal.
Mendy has been in and out of the team for the past two and a half seasons, not even making the 25-man Premier League squad for the first part of the season. But then he’ll explode back onto the scene and become a key player once more.
However, City may release him this time. He’s in his 30s now, and with a teenager, Sammy Braybrooke emerging with a similar style of play and being pushed by Rodgers to become an “excellent” player, Mendy’s time may be up.
The deal is there on the table, as it has been for the best part of two years. That Youri Tielemans still hasn’t signed a new contract suggests he has no intentions of doing so.
There remains a slim hope for City. Tielemans has said himself that he will only move if there is a “great project” on the table, and so he will assess the clubs that come in for him and whether they can match his ambitions. If they can’t, there is no reason why he wouldn’t stay in City, where he is very happy.
However, he is a high-class footballer and, available on a free transfer, it would be a shock if there was not a single elite side that offered him a chance. His final six months as a City player may be about to start.
Ayoze Perez will occasionally put on a show that makes you wonder why he doesn’t play like that more often. His performance off the bench at West Ham in the final game before the World Cup was one of those when he set up Harvey Barnes’ game-winning second goal.
But it’s his inconsistency that suggests he’ll be leaving sooner rather than later. He has only started one Premier League game this season, and if he is still with the club in the summer, he will almost certainly be released.