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Brighton & Hove Albion are reportedly closing in on a move to bring Leicester City’s out-of-favour striker Leonardo Ulloa to the Falmer Stadium this January. With deadline fast approaching, this is the best time for most clubs to pursue the players they want and Chris Hughton is understood to be quite keen on signing Ulloa. A loan deal is believed to be on the table and this move could provide the 31-year-old with some much-needed game time to revive his career.
Ulloa endured a fallout of sorts with former Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri and since then, he has been iced out of the first-team. Even when Craig Shakespeare was in charge, the striker barely received any meaty opportunities and the situation remains the same under Claude Puel as well. He still has 18 months left on his current deal but at present, his best escape route seems to be a loan move to Brighton.
If the two clubs agree on a deal, this could be Ulloa’s second spell with the Seagulls. The Argentine forward joined Brighton back in 2013 and spent a little over a year and a half with them, during which he scored 23 goals and played a key role in securing a Championship playoff spot for the club. Considering the goalscoring crisis Brighton are facing currently, Ulloa could benefit by returning to play for them once more.
Sitting at 16th spot in the league standings, Hughton’s men are living dangerously close to the relegation zone. This is rather disappointing, especially after the strong start they made to the ongoing season. Their initial performances were highly encouraging and Brighton were primed for a top-10 finish at the very least. However, it now seems like they might have to endure a battle to secure their top-flight status.
To that extent, a player like Ulloa could certainly provide them with the kind of goalscoring threat they are so desperately in need of. Glenn Murray and Tomer Hemed seemed solid initially but as days wore on, so did their influence up front.
Moreover, pursuing Ulloa is likely to be a relatively easy process since the Foxes have no reason to hold him back. He occupies quite a low position in the pecking order at the King Power Stadium since Puel already has the likes of Jamie Vardy, Shinji Okazaki, Kelechi Iheanacho and Islam Slimani. Thus, a temporary loan move to Brighton could help the striker as well as the club.