Jardim hoping for Slimani return

Monaco

Monaco boss Leonardo Jardim is hopeful forward Islam Slimani will be fit enough to feature in Saturday's Ligue 1 clash with Dijon.

Algeria international Slimani has missed the Monegasques’ last two games after picking up a groin strain during last month’s 1-0 victory over Nantes, but he returned to training this week and he could now feature at the Stade Louis II this weekend.

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The on-loan Leicester forward has certainly been a big miss for Monaco, who beat Marseille but lost to Saint-Etienne in his absence, as he has scored five goals in his eight Ligue 1 appearances to date and has begun to form a good understanding with fellow forward Wissam Ben Yedder.

Slimani’s potential return will certainly be a boost for Monaco, who sit 15th in the table but are just five points behind second-placed Angers, with Jardim admitting the striker could play some part on Saturday.

“Slimani trained yesterday with the rest of the squad, today he has trained normally. If he continues like that tomorrow he will be able to play,” Jardim said during his pre-match press conference.

There is no indication as of yet whether Monaco will sign Slimani on a permanent basis when his loan expires during the summer, but recent reports have suggested they hold an option to bring him in for as little as £7.8million – a quarter of what Leicester paid to sign him from Sporting Lisbon in 2016.

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