Leicester City have confirmed the signing of French midfielder Boubakary Soumare from Ligue 1 champions Lille.
The 22-year-old has long been linked with a move to the Premier League, with the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea often tipped to move for Soumare, but Leicester moved to the front of the queue for his signature earlier this summer.
Talks with Lille may have dragged on a little longer than fans may have liked, but Leicester have now confirmed that Soumare has put pen to paper on a five-year contract at the King Power Stadium.
“I’m really proud to come to the Premier League and a big club like Leicester,” he told the club’s official website. “It’s going to really help me to develop my game and progress as a player, so I feel it is the right step for me.
“Leicester is a very ambitious club. When they spoke to me about their plans and what they wanted from me, I knew straight away I wanted to come. I really am so proud and honoured to be here and I will give my all for the team and club to make everyone happy.”
There is no mention of the transfer fee involved, although most reports agree that Leicester have shelled out close to £17m for the highly-rated midfielder.
Soumare becomes Leicester’s second signing of the summer, following the arrival of Zambia striker Patson Daka, who sealed a £23m move from Red Bull Salzburg late in June.
The pair are also likely to be followed by former Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand, who is undergoing a medical with the Foxes ahead of joining on a free transfer.
Regularly compared to Paul Pogba because of his towering physique and impressive ball-carrying abilities, Soumare will now compete with Youri Tielemans and Wilfred Ndidi at the base of Brendan Rodgers’ midfield.
The move brings an end to Soumare’s four years at Lille, for whom he managed 112 appearances and played a major role in last season’s Ligue 1 title triumph.