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    Leicester to rival Arsenal for Ryan Bertrand signing

    Leicester City will rival Arsenal for the signing of Ryan Bertrand, who is leaving Southampton on a free transfer at the end of the season.

    Bertrand will bring a seven year spell at St Mary’s to a close this summer and leaves having made almost 250 appearances for the club. During his time with the Saints, he helped the club secure a sixth place Premier League finish in 2016 and was also named in the PFA Team of the Year during his first season.

    Ryan Bertrand
    Bertrand would be good back up at Leicester | Dan Mullan/Getty Images

    Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for the Champions League winner but according to the Telegraph Leicester are also in the running. Brendan Rodgers is keen to recruit cover at left-back, with the long serving Christian Fuchs set to depart and James Justin still recovering from an ACL injury.

    Rodgers is a long term admirer of Bertrand, having coached him at youth and reserve level when the pair were both at Chelsea. Leicester favour a 12-month deal, while the defender is hoping to pen longer terms and it is understood that there is room for compromise.

    If Arsenal do beat the Foxes to his signature, the club have several alternatives lined up. Explosive Atalanta wing-back Robin Gosens has been tracked for some time in a move that would see him link up with former teammate Timothy Castagne. Nuno Mendes – who recently helped Sporting CP secure their first Liga Nos title since 2002 – is another target.

    Meanwhile, Leicester are close to completing a move for Lille’s Boubakary Soumare, another long term target. The 22-year-old midfielder has impressed for the Ligue 1 leaders this season and could cost the Foxes as little as £15m. It represents another excellent piece of business from the club’s recruitment team.

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