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Leicester ready to snap-up Belgian minnows OH Leuven for £2m but vice-chairman is staying put

Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha has ambitious plans but will remain alongside his father Vichai  at the King Power

LEICESTER CITY owners the King Power Group have been linked with a £2million-plus takeover of Belgian Second Division side OH Leuven.

But SunSport can reveal the club’s vice-chairman Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha will not be leaving the English champions to take over the Belgian club.

Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha with his son Aiyawatt

Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha celebrates Leicester’s title triumph with his son Aiyawatt

Should the proposed deal go through, sources in Belgium claimed the son of Foxes Thai owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha wanted to branch out and own a club of his own.

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It was suggested the 31-year-old could step down from his current role at Leicester, which he has held since 2010, to push ahead with the ambitious plan if OHL accept his blueprint for their future development.

But SunSport understands Aiyawatt, commonly known as Top, will not quit his current role at Leicester and will remain alongside his father Vichai.

That does not mean he could not have a part to play if King Power Group do decide to push the green light to purchase the Belgian outfit.

It has been suggested there will be representatives of OHL at Leicester’s game against Watford at the King Power on Saturday, with Foxes fans excited about the prospect of the Belgian Second Division club acting as a ‘sister,’ or feeder club for Leicester.

It looks like is staying put

Getty Images
It looks like Aiyawatt is staying put

Father and son have transformed Leicester...now Belgian club OHL hope theyll do the same for them

Getty Images
Father and son have transformed Leicester…now Belgian club OH Leuven hope they’ll do the same for them

Manchester City has forged similar international links, through is holding company City Football Group, with clubs in New York, Melbourne and Montevideo.

King Power Group looks to be exploring a similar expansion, starting in Belgium, a country with a fantastic track record for attracting top young African talent, due to its more relaxed work permit rules.

Little known Belgians OHL are excited at the prospect of being bought over by such a respected and experienced potential owner, after King Power Group successfully transformed Leicester from a struggling Championship club to champions of England.

Sources close to the club believe King Power’s plans for them include new ultra-modern training facilities and a new purpose-built stadium in Leuven, to replace their current 10,000 capacity Den Dreef Stadium – with a view to a return to Belgian’s top flight within three years.

Owner Vichai jokes with Jose Ulloa and Kasper Schmeichel

AP:Associated Press
Owner Vichai jokes with Jose Ulloa and Kasper Schmeichel

Should a successful takeover take place it would bring to an end a controversial chapter in OH Leuven’s recent history.

Last September the Belgian club was embroiled in a newspaper sting which led to the resignation of OH Leuven chairman Jimmy Houtput.

It was alleged the former chairman offered the club as a ‘conduit,’ in an apparent bid to breach FIFA rules banning third-party ownership.

Houtput was alleged to have suggested the club would willingly pose as the owner of footballers whose economic rights would actually be held by a fake company.

Under the scheme the fake firm would have put up the cash to buy players and then receive the vast majority of future sell-on fees, contrary to FIFA rules introduced in 2015. The FA prohibited the practice seven years ago.

Houtput resigned shortly after the story broke.