Leicester City amongst three clubs keen on landing Brentford defender Pontus Jansson
According to transfer news on The Guardian, Leicester City are in a three-way race to sign Brentford ace Pontus Jansson. The defender has been brilliant for the newly-promoted club and recently scored the equalizer in the 2-1 victory against Watford.
A youth product of Malmo, Jansson spent nearly a decade at the Swedish club. In 2014, he joined Torino before signing for Leeds United a couple of years later. He played a vital role in their rise as a top Championship club and sealed a move to Brentford in 2019 after falling out with Marcelo Bielsa.
Could the player now leave the Bees? And should Leicester pursue a deal for the Swedish international?
Leicester City could use some much-needed depth and experience in their backline
Since signing for the red and black in 2019, Jansson has made 80 appearances across all competitions. In the process, he was also made club captain and was part of the 4th best defence in the Championship last season. His performances this season have been noteworthy too, as he has helped Brentford secure 20 points till now, keeping them in the top half of the table after almost halfway through the campaign.
The Foxes are now keen on a deal for the defender. Leicester have had two back-to-back stellar campaigns but have started slowly this season. They are 8th on the table, five points off the Top 4 spots. Their defence has also been poor this season, conceding 27 goals in 16 games.
Injuries have played their part, with Wesley Fofana being out since the start of the season. The defender fractured his fibula in pre-season during a game against Villarreal. He is out until 2022, and there is no exact return date mentioned yet.
Jonny Evans is also ageing and shall turn 34 at the turn of the year. He remains a competent option but may not always have the legs to play week-in and week-out. Caglar Soyuncu, on the other hand, is being targeted by Manchester United as he shall be entering the final year of his deal next summer, according to Fichajes.net last month (h/t The Mirror).
The Brentford ace could provide depth in the squad and has experience playing in a back three, a formation Leicester have used on multiple occasions this season. Thus, he is certainly a player Rodgers can use in his side, especially since they have been competing in nearly four competitions for the last two seasons. But more importantly, field a back three means more depth is required in that area as well.
Leicester City would hold all the cards in negotiations over a summer move for Pontus Jansson
The Bees captain is set to be out of contract next summer, with the newly-promoted club yet to hand him an extension. If the centre-back fails to sign a new deal by the end of this year, he shall be free to negotiate a pre-contract or even a transfer in January. Leicester would be wise to use this as leverage and seal a deal for the 30-year-old as soon as possible.
However, Newcastle United and Everton are also interested in signing the Swedish international. The Toon Army are looking to rebuild, and Eddie Howe apparently wants to strengthen the backline. Everton have also been guilty defensively this season, and Rafa Benitez might swoop for Jansson to provide some solidity to his backline.
Thus, there is substantial competition for his signature. However, the King Power outfit can offer the defender the prospect of European football. It would not be a surprise if the Foxes seal a European spot again this season, and they are more likely to do so as compared to the Toffees and the Magpies, evidenced by their current league positions.
- Transfer News: Lucas Digne could leave Everton due to his problematic relationship with Rafa Benitez
- Newcastle United interested in signing Stoke City star Tyrese Campbell in January
- Brighton are keeping tabs on Tottenham Hotspur ace Joe Rodon amidst a potential move in January
Leicester have built a good project over the last half a decade. But they currently lack experience in some areas on the pitch, with the defence being one of them. The Top 4 race is also wide open this season, and if they hope to lodge a serious challenge, they could seal a deal for Jansson in January. Alternatively, they could add the Swede to their ranks next summer on a free transfer.