Leeds United could end their hunt for a new goalkeeper with a move for out-of-favour Southampton man Fraser Forster, who has been told he is free to leave St Mary’s this month.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side currently sit top of the Championship, despite two successive league defeats, and are looking to boost their goalkeeper options in January having lost Jamal Blackman to a broken leg and currently having no serious competition to current No 1 Bailey Peacock-Farrell.
Leeds had identified Newcastle keeper Karl Darlow as the experienced keeper they wanted, but it was reported earlier this week that the promotion-chasers are unwilling to meet Newcastle’s £4million asking price with Bielsa’s side chasing a loan deal only.
Leeds have also been linked with Burnley’s Tom Heaton and Sheffield Wednesday’s Keiren Westwood, but it seems they could have some joy if they target a move for England international Forster, who is a long way down the pecking order on the south coast.
Forster has slipped to No 3 under Austrian manager Ralph Hassenhuttl, with Angus Gunn – another former Leeds target – and former Leeds loanee Alex McCarthy currently embroiled in a battle for the Saints jersey.
That leaves Forster kicking his heels on the sidelines and Hassenhuttl has admitted the club are willing to let him move on – possibly on loan – with him currently not in the reckoning for a first-team recall.
“It can be that Fraser can take a game in the under-23s, because he needs to get back in a position where he is an option for other clubs maybe, and that is what we try to force in the future,” the Saints boss said.
Saints paid Celtic £10million for Forter in summer 2014 and he has gone on to make 124 appearances for the club in all competitions.
Get the latest personalised Whites products on our new TEAMtalk Leeds United shop!