Leicester City are close to signing Ryan Bertrand on a free transfer, beating Arsenal in the race for the experienced left-back.
According to Football Insider, Leicester City are inching closer to making Ryan Bertrand their second summer signing. The Foxes have beat Arsenal in the race for the full-back who left Southampton earlier this month and will move on a free transfer.
Leicester City are building on their FA Cup win and fifth-place finish from last season by acquiring some interesting players in this window. The Foxes have already signed Austrian Bundesliga top scorer Paston Daka from RB Salzburg, beating a host of Premier League clubs, are now closing in on Ryan Bertrand.
Christian Fuchs, who played a key role in Leicester’s title triumph in 2015/16, left the club after his contract expired. Brendan Rodgers often relied on the veteran star to provide cover at left-back and has now sights on Bertrand to fill the void. While Bertrand is a different player to Fuchs, he does offer an interesting option in that position.
Bertrand was a mainstay at Southampton since joining from Chelsea in 2015, making 240 appearances, featuring in 29 league games last season. The full-back will bring immense Premier League experience and gives Rodgers a more seasoned option than Luke Thomas, which could come in handy when Leicester play in Europe.
Once the Foxes wrap up the signing of Bertrand, they would have successfully beaten some of the Premier League sides interested in the left-back. Arsenal were thought to be one of them. The Gunners were looking at Bertrand to provide cover for first-choice Kieran Tierney.
Arsenal were very much in the chase for Bertrand, and on a free transfer, the former Saints star represented value in a tight market. The Gunners did not make a concrete offer to date but were reportedly ready to turn to him if they were to lose out on other targets for that position.
However, Arsenal are now close to signing Nuno Tavares, Benfica’s 21-year-old left-back, in an €8 million deal. The North Londoners were also in the chase for Patrick van Aanholt, released by Crystal Palace when his contract expired. However, the Gunners have chosen to go with a young player rather than an experienced star, after similar moves recently disappointed the club.
As for Leicester, they are getting a player with a good track record. Bertrand might be 31 years old, but he could still provide a valuable contribution that could help Rodgers balance his squad between the league, Europe and cup games during next season.