Leicester City have received an improved offer from La Liga side Alaves for striker Leonardo Ulloa according to IBTimes UK sources. Claudio Ranieri has publicly expressed his desire to keep his striker but the 30-year-old is now considering handing in a transfer request after the Foxes turned down a bid from the 12th-placed club in La Liga last month.
Ulloa scored six crucial goals to help Leicester win the Premier League in the 2015-2016 campaign while serving as backup for Jamie Vardy. However, the former Brighton & Hove Albion forward had already considered leaving during the summer transfer window in order to secure more appearances elsewhere.
West Brom, Swansea and Sunderland were all keen to take advantage of the situation and lure him away from the King Power Stadium but Leicester turned down a £9m offer from the the Wales side — as Ranieri considered the player an important asset for the future.
However, Ulloa has since been restricted to just one starting appearance in the Premier League as the big-money arrivals of Ahmed Musa and Islam Slimani have increased the competition for places in Ranieri's attack.
His future at Leicester has thus been under increasing scrutiny in recent weeks as the Foxes have also failed to offer him an improved new deal despite his current contract set to expire in 2018.
West Brom, Swansea and Sunderland have made new approaches in recent weeks to enquire about his availability but earlier this month Ranieri said that he wanted him to stay.
"He is our player. Did you see how he played Monday? Very well, strong. I believe in him and I think he could stay," Ranieri said after the draw with Middlesbrough. "I spoke with Leo. Leo is a fantastic player and he showed me the best last season. He helped us to win the title and he continues because it is his character. Of course he would like to play more but I believe in him and I want him to stay with us."
But IBTimes UK sources understand Ulloa is still likely to depart as Alaves are now ready to offer him an escape route.
The Spaniards already had a first offer rejected last month but have now launched a second bid with hopes that this time they can convince Leicester to part company with the striker.
Foxes officials now have the final word but Ulloa has already told them that he would like to leave — and could even hand in a transfer request ahead of completing the move.