Leicester City are reportedly leading a three-horse race to land talented Glenavon midfielder Mark Sykes.
The 20-year-old has been tipped to join the Foxes ahead of UK rivals Celtic and Blackburn Rovers either in January or next summer, according to the Belfast Telegraph.
Sykes is a product of Glenavon’s youth academy and has turned out 76 times for the Northern Irish side’s first-team since he made his senior bow back in January 2015.
His performances at club and international level – Sykes having turned out three times for Northern Ireland’s Under-19s – have supposedly impressed scouts from Leicester, and would be the natural first choice for Sykes if he decided to leave his current side for pastures new.
Celtic and Blackburn would try to throw a spanner in the works of any potential transfer, however, given their own interest in Sykes’ services.
Current Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers is a fellow Ulsterman, and the opportunity to work alongside the ex-Liverpool and Swansea manager could prove to be too good a chance to turn down for Sykes given Celtic’s unrivalled dominance in Scottish football.
Blackburn, meanwhile, have scouted Sykes on a number of occasions and believe that full-time training would give him the best chance of making it at the top level.
Leicester’s financial might would blow either of those other interested parties out of the water, regardless of the alleged £323m repayment hanging over the club’s Thai owners.
As such, Glenavon would not be able to afford to turn down any decent financial package from the King Power stadium-based side, and it would surely come down to whether Sykes would rather win titles in Scotland or ply his trade in one of Europe’s biggest leagues as to which side he may join.
Sykes has bagged three goals and three assists for Glenavon in 13 games so far this term.