Reports in Italy are naming Leicester City as Belgium international left-back Jordan Lukaku’s expected next destination, according to The Leicester Mercury.

The paper cites claims made by newspapers in Rome that the Foxes have moved ahead of Premier League rivals Southampton and West Ham United in a race to sign the 23-year-old Lazio man.

A move to England would see him follow in the footsteps of his older brother Romelu, the Manchester United striker.

Rumours of his expected departure from Italy grew after he was left out of Lazio’s pre-season training squad and Lukaku is reportedly keen on heading to England.

Foxes boss Claude Puel wants to bolster his defence ahead of the new season and has already signed Jonny Evans from West Bromwich Albion and Ricardo Pereira from Porto.

Leicester already have Ben Chilwell and Christian Fuchs as specialist left-backs in their squad but Lukaku would be an exciting option for the East Midlands-based side.

Fuchs is now 31 and with his contract expiring at the end of next season, he has already confirmed he will leave the club next summer.

Therefore, Puel has to work on strengthening in this position and rather than wait until the end of the season, he looks keen to make a signing in this window.

Leicester were linked with Hertha Berlin’s Germany international Marvin Plattenhardt earlier in the summer, although a number of other clubs are also interested.

Lukaku – like Chilwell – is capable of playing at left-back or in a more advanced position on the left, which suits Puel’s requirements.

He may have fallen out of favour with Lazio, where he was more often than not on the bench last season, but at 23 has his best years ahead of him.

Lukaku missed out on making Roberto Martinez’s World Cup squad and he may see a move to Leicester as the ideal way to work his way back into the international arena.

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