Bid reportedly turned down for potential Okaka replacement

Watford have reportedly had a bid rejected for long-term target Islam Slimani, who may represent a perfect replacement for wantaway striker Stefano Okaka.

The Hornets have courted Slimani since the summer, but reports of a financial offer for the Algerian forward have only surfaced this week.

The 29-year-old is Leicester City’s record signing, having moved from Sporting for £28 million in 2016.

And with Okaka pining to be reunited with former boss Walter Mazzarri, a space may have become available in the club’s frontline.

However, the Foxes are said to be holding out for £22 million in order to recoup most of the money they paid out for him only 18 months ago.

Manager Claude Puel has conceded he may have to lose one of his frontline during the January transfer window, but he has welcomed Slimani back into the fold in recent weeks and said after Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Fleetwood Town he would like to keep him.

“This period is always a difficult period with speculation about different players,” Puel said.

“I am happy with Slim. We have a lot of strikers and offensive players and we need to have good balance to give them game time.”

In total, Slimani has scored eight times in 35 league appearances for Leicester.