ENGLISH Premier League giants Leicester City are planning to purchase Nigerian winger Ademola Lookman in the summer should his current side Fulham fail to retain their premiership status and get relegated.
Despite playing some scintillating football, Fulham are in real danger of getting relegated this season as the club sits in 18th place in the 20-team league with just six games to go. There is a six point gap between Fulham and Newcastle who are in 17th place and despite spirited performances of late, the Cottagers are tipped by many to get relegated alongside Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion.
Fulham have a very big Nigerian presence with defenders Ola Aina, Tosin Adarabioyo, Lookman and striker Josh Maja all on its books. Apart from Adarabioyo who was bought outright from Manchester City, all the other Nigerians at the club are there on loan and with all of them having given a good account of themselves so far, they are likely to be snapped up by other Premier League clubs if Fulham go down.
Lookman joined Fulham from German side RB Leipzig on loan last summer but no purchase clause was included into the deal taking him to the club. Statistically, Lookman has been Fulham’s most decisive player in the Premier League this season with a goal involvement of seven in his first 25 league appearances for the club.
Leicester City have now made it clear they would be interested in offering Lookman the chance to remain in the Premier League by signing him at the end of the season. If he joins Leicester, Lookman will have more Nigerian company there as he will be playing alongside compatriots Wilfred Ndidi and Kelechi Iheanacho.
By all accounts, Lookman has been Fulham’s standout player this season, scoring four goals and setting up four others in 28 Premier League games. His contract with RB Leipzg, whom he joined on a permanent basis from Everton in July 2019, runs out in June 2024, meaning Leicester will have to do business with the German side.
Lookman is believed to have indicated his willingness to play for Nigeria but before he can do so, Fifa needs to clear him as he has already featured for the England youth team. Under Fifa rules, if a player has featured for one team at junior level, he needs to get clearance before being allowed to play for another nation as a senior.