According to The Daily Mail, Leicester are bracing themselves for the exit of Ben Chilwell and see Ryan Bertrand as a potential replacement.
However, if the Saints man arrives at the King Power, it would go away from one of Brendan Rodgers’ key philosophies.
Sportsmail claim they first reported Chelsea’s intrigue in Chilwell back in October but with fresh interest, Leicester are now preparing to lose him in the summer.
With that in mind, they’re reportedly lining up Bertrand as his successor at left-back. No potential fee has been mentioned but the 30-year-old is valued at £11.7m according to Transfermarkt.
Any move could see the Saints defender and Rodgers reunited for a third time. Bertrand first played under the Leicester boss in Chelsea’s academy before also getting the chance to play for him at Reading.
There would be a hint of irony if the Foxes brought in a defender that took part in Southampton’s 9-0 defeat against Leicester earlier in the current season. However, that isn’t the main reason why a move would be bizarre.
Rodgers has prided himself on developing young players and building squads around individuals who have room to grow within the game.
The average age of Leicester’s squad is currently just 26.7, showing that he has a plethora of options at his disposal just about to reach the prime of their careers.
In a prior interview with the FA about Rodgers’ philosophy, he had the following to say about nurturing football’s next generation: “I started on a journey to try and make young players feel important and give them conﬁdence to deal with the football.”
This is something that has followed the former Celtic manager throughout his career, favouring younger signings. In almost three years with the Hoops, he signed just one player over the age of 30. At Liverpool however, that never happened while the same can be said for a spell with Swansea City.
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Since arriving at Leicester, he’s built his squad around young and promising individuals like James Maddison, Wilfred Ndidi, Ricardo Pereira and Youri Tielemans. All yet to really reach their prime, Chilwell has been another key component of Leicester’s exciting and refreshing side.
A move for a 30-year-old left-back, therefore, fails to make much sense, especially if a deal isn’t concluded until the summer. Bertrand has clear pedigree, being capped by England and winning the Champions League but he doesn’t suit Rodgers’ philosophy.
Not only that, but he fails to fit into the foundations being built at the King Power. Leicester must think again if they have desires of replacing a 23-year-old with a player heading towards the back end of their career.