French side Saint Etienne are leading the race for Leicester City outcast Islam Slimani, who was close to joining Lyon in the summer.

That’s according to But! Football Club, who cover the player’s situation and a potential return to France in January.

They explain that Lyon chief Juninho had set up a deal for Slimani to arrive at the club in the summer if Memphis Depay had left for Barcelona.

However, that deal never ended up happening because Ousmane Dembele refused to leave for Manchester United and, as such, Slimani remained at Leicester.

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The 32-year-old remains out of favour under Brendan Rodgers, though, managing just two appearances so far this season, with one of those in Premier League 2.

Saint Etienne want to take advantage of that having abandoned a move for him in the summer when they preferred to keep M’Baye Niang after his departure from the club failed to happen.

They have ‘placed themselves’ in a position to sign the striker and have even ‘established’ a contract with him.

There’s no mention of an asking price or a deal with Leicester but it’s hard to imagine one being hard to get done given the player is far out of favour for the Foxes and his contract expires next summer.

In fact, the deal seems to suit all parties, and it would be surprising if we didn’t hear more about a potential transfer the closer we get to January.