Ralph Hasenhuttl and Brendan Rodgers have both confirmed that a deal for Leicester City to sign Jannik Vestergaard from Southampton is close.
News emerged earlier this week that Leicester were looking into the signing of Vestergaard to provide cover for Wesley Fofana. The young centre-back will be out until 2022 due to a serious injury, leaving Leicester light at the back. Jonny Evans will also miss the start of the season. But Vestergaard is about to provide them with a solution.
The Denmark international is in the final 12 months of his contract at Southampton, who have been reluctant to sell him. However, they have now decided to cash in.
A report earlier on Thursday indicated that a deal has been agreed between the two clubs worth an initial £15m. Vestergaard has subsequently travelled to Leicester to complete the transfer.
While it is not yet official, the managers of both clubs have confirmed the deal is close.
Southampton boss Hasenhuttl said: “He is doing the medical check, and when that is done, then the deal is done.
“He will go to Leicester, then it is for us to replace him and this is what we will do in the future.”
Southampton will have to find a way to replace Vestergaard after also losing striker Danny Ings to Aston Villa in similar circumstances earlier this summer. The attacker was also in the last year of his contract, so they decided to raise funds by selling him.
Addressing the double departure, Hasenhuttl added: “Yes, we lost a few very important players in our club which was an absolute must because two of them only had one year left on their contracts.
“For the club it’s the only way you can go because the rules in the transfer market are like this. When you are coming into the last two years of a contract with a player then the power moves to the player.
“You do not let them go without a transfer fee. That would be a disaster for every club.
“We had to do these deals and finally we are happy we made these deals and could replace them with new players, made the squad bigger with players with potential to develop.”
Rodgers hopeful for Vestergaard availability
Leicester boss Rodgers was more cautious when speaking about his potential new recruit. The Northern Irishman is a long-term admirer of Vestergaard and should soon get to work with him.
Rodgers said: “Clearly there’s been contact by the clubs. There’s nothing finalised as of yet but yeah, as soon as that happens – and hopefully it does – then we’ll be able to confirm that.”
Asked if he will be available for Leicester’s opener against Wolves on Saturday, Rodgers replied: “We’ll have to wait and see. As I said, the clubs have been in contact.
“We’ve got permission for him to be here and then everything can hopefully be organised and then we’ll see if he’s available for the weekend.”