Leicester line up Ilias Chair swoop amid latest on Maddison race

By Pete O'Rourke, Transfer Correspondent

31st May, 2023 | 2:34pm

Sources: Leicester set sights on signing QPR star to replace James Maddison

Leicester City are eyeing a move for Queens Park Rangers midfielder Ilias Chair as a potential replacement for James Maddison, sources have told Football Insider.

Leicester are resigned to losing Maddison following their relegation from the Premier League, with sources telling this site on Wednesday (31 May) that Tottenham are hopeful of securing the 26-year-old’s signature.

It is believed Morocco international Chair figures on the Foxes’ list of targets to replace him.

The 25-year-old is regarded as one of the most creative midfielders in the Championship having scored five goals and provided nine assists in 40 games in the 2022-23 campaign – despite QPR’s struggles at the wrong end of the table.

He was also part of the Morocco squad which reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in Qatar – making one appearance at the tournament.

Chair fits the profile for the type of player Leicester are looking at if Maddison is to finalise an exit.

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The midfielder would bring much-needed Championship experience with him to the King Power Stadium -and would cost a fraction of any fee received for Maddison.

As revealed by Football Insider (31 May), Tottenham face competition from Newcastle and Arsenal for the Foxes star – who has just over 12 months remaining on his contract.

Meanwhile, Chair’s QPR contract is set to expire in June 2025 – with the Loftus Road outfit holding the option to extend his deal a further 12 months.

The Antwerp-born star can play in an attacking midfield berth as well as on both flanks – and even featured as a forward in the 2022-23 campaign.

He came through the ranks at Club Brugge and Liese before joining QPR as a 19-year-old in January 2017.

Leicester are yet to appoint a manager for the 2023-24 campaign, with Dean Smith set to leave the club when his short-term contract expires in the coming weeks.

The Foxes were relegated on the final day (28 May) despite recording a 2-1 win over West Ham.

In other news, another Leicester star is “keen” on joining Newcastle United.