Republic of Ireland’s Euro 2016 hero Robbie Brady is a reported transfer target of Premier League champions Leicester City, with discussions between the Foxes and Norwich City allegedly already underway.
Brady was one of the Canaries’ standout performers in their failed attempt to stave off relegation last term and his exploits in France have made the prospect of a move away from Carrow Road this summer all the more likely.
Goals against Italy and France will heap a few more million pounds onto what’s sure to be a sizeable asking price, but Leicester would be well served meeting their demands regardless.
The summer shopping trips of elite outfits rarely involve stops at the yard sales of recently-demoted outfits for obvious reasons, but history suggests sampling the wares of second-tier-bound teams isn’t the worst idea when assembling a squad for the Champions League.
Four relegated Premier League players have been shipped to clubs competing in Europe’s most coveted competition since 2009/10 and on each instance the buyer has reached at least one continental quarter final.
Benfica are the most recent beneficiaries of the trend.
They reached the last eight of the Champions League after signing free agent Adel Taarabt from QPR last summer, but the temperamental Moroccan played no part in the Eagles’ narrow 3-2 loss to Bayern Munich, or any other first team game for that matter.
Dimitar Berbatov was much more integral in Monaco’s run to the same stage of the 2014/15 edition after joining on a free transfer from Fulham.
The Bulgarian started seven of Les Rouges et Blancs’ ten matches and scored a decisive goal in their last-16 vanquishing of Arsenal.
Monaco were eventual overcome by Juventus, losing by a goal to nil over two legs.
Before Berbatov’s move, 2009/10 was the last time a player was rescued from the Championship by a Champions League team.
Obafemi Martins and Michael Owen were tossed life vests to safely exit the Newcastle United ship sunk in 2008/09 by Wolfsburg and Manchester United respectively.
The former were ejected from the Champions League in the group stage (where they were drawn alongside the Red Devils) after finishing third, but reached the quarters after filtering down to the Europa League, where they lost 3-1 to Fulham over two legs.
United went on to reach the last eight before succumbing to Bayern on away goals.