Craig Shakespeare is ready to slap an eye-watering £50million price tag on Kasper Schmeichel as he attempts to scare off would be suitors Liverpool and Manchester United.
The world-breaking fee DWARFS the £30million Everton splashed out to sign Sunderland’s England Under-21 goalie Jordan Pickford 48 hours ago.
It would also smash the world record £34.9million Manchester City paid Benfica for Brazilian goalie Ederson and would make Schmeichel the most expensive goalie of all time.
Jurgen Klopp and Jose Mourinho have been tracking the 30-year-old Dane for months and Leicester’s £2million pursuit of Hull City stopper Eldin Jakupovic could be the first move in a giant goalkeeping jigsaw.
Shakespeare is prepared to meet Hull’s knockdown asking price for the 32-year-old Swiss international, who only has one year left on his contract.
Despite Hull insisting no bid has yet been made, Shakespeare views Jakupovic as the experienced back-up he needs for Schmeichel.
The Dane has attracted many admirers with serious spending power and Shakespeare does not want to be caught out if a world record bid comes in over the summer.
Current back-up ‘keeper Ron Robert Zieler has failed to impress and is keen to return to his homeland – increasing Shakespeare’s need for reliable cover.
Schmeichel still has four years to run on his current five-year-deal, which is worth more than £100,000 a week.
However he parted company with his old agent Kenny Stephen shortly after signing his new deal last summer and replaced him with Luca Bascherini – in a move which set alarm bells ringing at the King Power.
The Foxes’ Thai owners were suspicious of their goalie’s motives for switching agents at a time when he had everything he could wish for at the club.
They were concerned Scmeichel was preparing the way for a speedy exit if one of Europe’s big-hitters came in for him.
And they grew even more uneasy when Schmeichel was then widely photographed with his dad Peter at Manchester United’s Europa League quarter final against Anderlecht at Old Trafford in April – something Shakespeare confessed his No.1 hadn’t run by him.
With United closing in on Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata sources close to the Bernabeu club are convinced United will eventually agree to let David de Gea return to Spain in return for cash plus Morata.
If they can strike that deal Schmeichel would be seen as an attractive replacement who would then battle it out with United’s Argentine back-up ‘keeper Sergio Romero for United’s No.1 shirt.
However Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is also a fan of Schmeichel’s and is another boss with money to burn who could easily afford to splash out on a genuine world class ‘keeper.
Despite putting his faith in Simon Mignolet at the end of last season, Klopp’s patience would be tested to the limit if the Belgian dropped any major clangers at the start of the season, especially with Champions’ League qualifiers to navigate.
Schmeichel would then look more attractive than ever to the Kop boss after his outstanding form in Europe helped Leicester reach the quarter finals of the Champions’ League last season.