Southampton were hit hard by the January exit of captain Jose Fonte in January – but Claude Puel could be set to bolster the Saints backline as early as this summer, with the club reportedly closing in on a move for Torino centre-back Pontus Jansson.
The 26-year-old has spent this season on loan at Leeds United, impressing greatly for the West Yorkshire outfit. A commanding presence at the heart of defence, he’s helped the Whites to 11 clean sheets in 27 appearances this season.
Meanwhile, the former Malmo prodigy has also shown his worth at the other end, netting three times this term, and chalking up as many assists.
And despite agreeing to make his loan move permanent, it seems that the Saints are ready to make a late swoop and secure his signature
With the south coast club having struggled defensively since Fonte’s departure – conceding 13 goals in their last five games – and Virgil van Dijk also linked with an exit in the close-season, it’s likely that a new centre-back will be top of Puel’s shopping list.
There’s also every reason to believe Jansson would be a success, if he were to make the move to St Mary’s.
Having already shown himself to be adept at coping with the pace and physicality of English football, he would also add a combative element to a skilful – but perhaps not steely – Saints side.
Next up for Southampton is a trip to Watford on Saturday, with 11/10 on offer for the visitors to win at Vicarage Road.
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