Looking to improve their strength at the full-back position, Southampton have been a recent favorite of the English tabloids. Rumoured to be in the market for a number of players, a new report from the Mail Online has now linked the Saints with their first potential departure of the winter transfer window. According to a report from Adrian Kajumba, Leicester City are interested in signing Saints left-back Ryan Bertrand.
Report: Leicester City Target Southampton Left Back Ryan Bertrand
Ryan Bertrand to Replace Ben Chilwell at Leicester
An extremely popular figure in recent months, current Leicester City left-back Ben Chilwell is expected to soon depart the King Power Stadium. Multiple reports have linked the young Englishman with a move to Chelsea within the next six months. This follows a recent loss in form for the left-back as rumours have continually swirled over his future.
Having made 111 appearances for Leicester, the Foxes youth product has also become a stalwart within the English national side. Without a doubt, the 23-year-old would be extremely tough to replace. However, according to reports, Leicester City manager has already begun his search for a replacement. That replacement could soon come in the form of Southampton left-back Ryan Bertrand.
Coached by Brendan Rodgers during his early years at Chelsea, Bertrand also played under the Northern Irish manager at Reading FC. While that union came exactly ten-years ago, Bertrand has always remained a favourite of Rodgers. During his time at Liverpool, it was reported that Rodgers was interested in signing Bertrand. However, while his previous attempts may have ended in failure, this attempt could end differently.
30-Year-Old Bertrand Nearing End of Southampton Contract
Turning 31 this summer, Ryan Bertrand has just 18-months remaining on his current contract. While the former England international has been an incredibly important player for the Saints, his current age makes it seem unlikely that his contract will soon be renewed. Under current manager Ralph Hasenhuttl, Southampton has taken a more youthful approach.
With Bertrand turning 32 just after his current contract ends, it seems increasingly unlikely that he will sign a new deal with Southampton. Combine this with Leicester’s interest and the timing could be right for all parties involved. That said, one issue that could stand in the way of any deal is Saints lack of defensive depth.
Currently sporting just three senior side full-backs, Southampton would need to sign a replacement player before any deal could be reached. While Southampton has been linked to Kyle Walker-Peters and Joe Bryan, in recent days, nothing has been confirmed. Until that time comes, it is hugely unlikely that Southampton would allow Bertrand to depart.
On top of this, another potential hurdle also exists for Rodgers and Leicester City. According to the same report from Adrian Kajumba, Inter Milan are also monitoring Bertrand’s situation. While Leicester and Rodgers would continue to offer English Premier League football, one has to wonder if they can compete with the glitz-and-glamour of the Serie A club.