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EXCLUSIVE: Leicester beat Liverpool, West Ham to win race for coveted striker

TEAMtalk understands that Leicester City are confident they will complete the signing of Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard this summer.

Brendan Rodgers is a huge fan of the Frenchman following their spell together at Parkhead and he gave the greenlight to his bosses to pursue a deal earlier this year. Now, Leicester believe that they have fended off a host of clubs to land the 23-year-old – who is set to depart Celtic this summer. Edouard has one-year left on his current deal which he signed in 2018 arriving from Paris Saint Germain for just over £6m following a successful loan spell.

He has since cemented his place as one of Europe’s most promising young forwards and has been linked to a host of clubs including Arsenal, Borussia Dortmund and even with a return to PSG.

West Ham even hired specific agents to get the deal done.

Liverpool were also among those reported to be keen. Indeed, recently it was claimed they were exploring the possibility of a swap deal. That would have seen the Bhoys signing unwanted Reds forward Divock Origi as part of the deal.

However, Edouard is reported to have snubbed the opportunity – despite a personal phone call from Reds boss Jurgen Klopp.

Anfield Central reported that Edouard told Klopp he was not sure where he would fit into their attack. 

Now, sources with knowledge of the situation have told us that Edouard is almost certainly heading to the King Power and will provide some high-quality attacking options for Rodgers.

Leicester have been looking to add to their forward line with Jamie Vardy, Ayoze Perez and Kelechi Iheanacho their current options. But with a likely Champions League campaign on the horizon the club wanted more.

Edouard has scored 16 goals and earned five assists in 26 Scottish Premiership games this season.

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Hartson thinks Edouard will leave

Meanwhile, former striker John Hartson believes Celtic will lose Edouard after falling behind Rangers this season.

Hartson told Go Radio: “We will not be able to keep Edouard, we’ve held on to Edouard with a piece of string really, to be honest with you.

“He’s been so close to leaving. I think his time will come, he will move on.”

If Edouard does stay at Celtic they will be without him for the Champions League qualifiers. The Frenchman is set to be selected for the Olympics in Japan.

The Scottish Suns say that means he will definitely miss the second round qualifiers in July with the group stage taking place between July 22 and July 28.

He may also miss the third round with the knockout rounds of the tournament running until August 7.

READ MORE: Rodgers reveals how Leicester aim to stay in top four; hails ‘outstanding’ Bruce


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