City interested in Nice midfielder
- Credit: PA
Norwich City are interested in signing Nice midfielder Pierre Lees-Melou, we understand.
The 28-year-old midfielder is a target for the Premier League newboys as they continue to shape their squad for the upcoming Premier League season.
Reports in France suggest the experienced midfielder has been made available for transfer this summer, with a £5m price tag suggested by French football outlets since the end of last season. Strasbourg reportedly made enquiries for the midfielder, with City joining them by registering an interest.
Lees-Melou is the latest target as City look to bolster their midfield engine room after seeing several options depart this summer. The midfielder has made plenty of top-level appearances, playing over 100 games for Nice since signing from Dijon in 2017.
He made 28 appearances in Ligue 1 for the French side last season, scoring on four occasions and registering one assist.
Lees-Melou has played both in central areas and higher up the pitch behind the striker. The majority of his appearances last season arrived as a number eight in a midfield three comprising of ex-Everton and Manchester United player Morgan Schneiderlin and one time City target Alexis Claude-Maurice.
Bournemouth midfielder Philip Billing is also a target for the Canaries as they look to add reinforcements to that area of the pitch, but City aren't currently prepared to match the Cherries asking price for the Danish international.
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City have already seen Alex Tettey, Mario Vrancic and Oliver Skipp leave the club after their Championship title-winning campaign last season. Moritz Leitner ended his spell in Norfolk after his contract was mutually terminated earlier this month.
They have added Chelsea youngster Billy Gilmour to their ranks, with work ongoing to ensure Lees-Melou becomes a City player.
He started his career in the fifth tier of French football with US Lège Cap Ferret before joining Dijon in 2015. Lees-Melou initially played for their second team before quickly being handed an opportunity in their starting side.
That resulted in a move to established Ligue 1 side Nice, where he has become somewhat of a fans favourite due to his energy in midfield and ability to shoot from range.
Norwich have been monitoring the French market with interest due to the financial problems caused by both the Covid-19 pandemic and the collapsed TV deal that has left French football in disarray.