N’Golo Kante’s contentious decision to leave Leicester for Chelsea has set an unfortunate precedent that suggests both Riyad Mahrez and Kasper Schmeichel may follow him out of the club this summer.
The Frenchman disappointed Foxes fans and many neutrals alike by passing up the opportunity to represent them in the Champions League to sign up at Stamford Bridge in 2016/17.
However, while it only became apparent that the move was going to take place recently, the writing had been on the wall since the early days of July.
Nice defensive midfielder Nampalys Mendy arrived at the King Power stadium for a then-club-record £13.5m three days into the month.
At that point it should have been clear that Kante wasn’t expected to buy into the quest to land Leicester’s 100/1 Champions League winner odds.
If the acquisition of another engine-room workhorse is understood retrospectively as foreshadowing the departure of the former Caen man, two further July purchases could point to the impending sales of both Riyad Mahrez and Kasper Schmeichel.
The Premier League title-winning twosome have been linked with moves to Barcelona and Everton respectively this summer and Leicester appear to have signed a couple of oven-ready replacements.
Hannover goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler has joined the Foxes after seven years as number one at HDI-Arena, making the Germany squads for both the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 during that time.
As such it’s unlikely that he upped sticks for anything less than a best-man-wins scrap for the role of premier gloveman at the King Power.
City’s second club-record buy of the summer Ahmed Musa could similarly be construed as a direct replacement for Mahrez.
A two-footed striker as adept at scoring and creating goals from the flanks as through the middle, it would be a surprise if he’d swapped first-choice status at Champions-League-contesting CSKA Moscow without certain assurances about his rank within Claudio Ranieri’s attacking hierarchy.