Euro Football

Leicester to sign free agent Bertrand on two-year deal

Former Southampton full-back Ryan Bertrand has reportedly agreed to join Leicester on a two-year deal.

The 31-year-old, capped 19 times by England, decided to leave St Mary’s in search of a new challenge.

He will now reunite with former boss Brendan Rodgers, whom he played under in Chelsea’s academy.

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According to the Daily Mail, Bertrand will soon be announced as a Foxes player after personal terms were agreed.

He’s signed an initial two-year contract, which includes the option of a further 12 months if he impresses.

Rodgers is rumoured to be a long-term admirer of the left-back. Leicester first targeted him in January 2020 as a potential option to replace Ben Chilwell when he secured a move to Chelsea.

Bertrand was linked with Arsenal in May. The Gunners were hoping to sign him as backup for Kieran Tierney, but it seems they will now have to pursue other targets.

The defender spent six years on the south coast after joining from Chelsea for a £12million fee.

He made 240 appearances in that time, helping them to finish eighth in the Premier League in 2016/17.

Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl was full of praise for Bertrand once his exit from the club was confirmed.

The manager said: “He was here for seven years. Like always in football, things are coming to an end.

“I think he did a good job for this club. Finally, we have to move on, like always in life, and you have to start something new, and this is what we have decided as a club and we will replace him in the summer.”

Bertrand will help Leicester next term as they look to gain Champions League football and defend their FA Cup title.

The Foxes spent most of last season in the top four but faltered at the final hurdle, ultimately finishing fifth on 66 points.

Bertrand will rival youngster Luke Thomas for a place in the starting eleven. He will also face competition from the versatile James Justin, who was brilliant last term before a cruciate ligament injury ruled him out.

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