Leicester eye Southampton star who Brendan Rodgers knows well

Southampton defender Ryan Bertrand playing against Man City

Leicester are interested in signing Southampton full-back Ryan Bertrand this summer, as reported by the Evening Standard.

What is the latest transfer news involving Bertrand?

Leicester are believed to be long-term admirers of Bertrand, and could make their move for the left-back at the end of the season.

They may face competition for his signature, though, with Arsenal reportedly eyeing Bertrand as an alternative option to Kieran Tierney.

How much is Bertrand worth and when does his contract expire?

Bertrand has been at Southampton for seven years, including his initial season-long loan at the club.

However, his contract is set to expire in June, meaning that he would be available on a free transfer at this point. He is in talks with the Saints over a new deal, but is yet to put pen to paper to extend his stay on the South Coast.

What are Bertrand's stats this season?

The 31-year-old has been a regular in the Southampton starting line-up this term, featuring in 28 of their 30 league matches to date.

As per WhoScored, only James Ward-Prowse and Jan Bednarek have played more minutes for Ralph Hasenhuttl's men in 2020/21.

Bertrand has made 57 tackles and 28 interceptions in the top-flight. These numbers would see him ranked fourth and sixth respectively in these categories if he were playing at Leicester.

What has Rodgers said about Bertrand?

Leicester have been linked with Bertrand for a considerable period, and in January 2020, Brendan Rodgers was asked about whether the club were set to make a move for the defender.

As quoted by the Leicester Mercury, he said: “Ryan’s a player I know very well. We took him into Chelsea at 16 and he’s had a brilliant career.

“But we’ve got England’s number one left-back, we’ve got a fantastic senior professional here in Christian Fuchs, and we have James Justin who can play left-back as well.

“At this moment in time, it’s not a position we would be looking at.”

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Can Bertrand fix Rodgers' left-back problem?

Having previously said that the club did not need a new left-back, Rodgers may well have changed his tune on that position. Since those comments, Ben Chilwell has gone to Chelsea, which has left the Foxes a little short of cover on the left-side of their defence.

James Justin and Timothy Castagne have both played down that flank, but the pair are both right-footed, which inevitably creates a slight imbalance in the side. 

Leicester do have two left-footed options who can play at full-back - Luke Thomas and Fuchs. However, they are at opposite ends of their careers, with Fuchs just turning 35 and Thomas still only 19, and they have only started eight league games between them this season.

If the club can add Bertrand to their ranks, they will have a recognised, left-footed No.3 who should still have a few years left in the tank at 31, whilst also having a decade of Premier League experience behind him.

He looks like a strong candidate to help solve one of the few noticeable flaws in Rodgers' first-team squad. 

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