Leicester agree deal to sign Nigeria international Wilfred Ndidi from Genk

Leicester City have signed Genk star Wilfred Ndidi, subject to him obtaining a work permit, for a reported £17 million.

The Premier League champions are desperate to bolster their squad in the January transfer window after a disappointing defence to their title and they have tied up a deal for Ndidi.

The Nigeria international, who will be eligible to play in the Champions League, is regarded as one of the best young players in Europe after impressing at Genk during the past 18 months.

The Foxes have struggled to replace N'Golo Kante after his summer sale to Chelsea, and Ndidi -- described by the club as a "tall, combative central midfielder" -- will address that.

The 20-year-old, who can play in defence or central midfield, has greed personal terms and passed a medical, and he will sign a contract through to the summer of 2022 when his permit is approved.

However, Leicester stole a march on their Premier League rivals by setting up a deal for Ndidi.

The midfielder joined Genk from Nigerian club Nath Boys for £78 000 in 2015 and made such rapid progress that he drew interest from Chelsea, Arsenal and Leicester with all three clubs sending scouts to watch him.

A versatile player who can play as a midfielder, and across the defence, Ndidi has progressed from playing for the under-20s in 2013, to a full international debut in 2015. He has now chalked up four full international appearances for Nigeria's Super Eagles, the last two coming in the World Cup qualifying wins against Zambia and Algeria.

Nigeria did not qualify for the African Nations Cup so Ndidi's move should be fully completed in time for him to be in the squad for Saturday's FA Cup tie at Everton. Leicester are next in Premier League action at home to leaders Chelsea on Jan. 14.