In Focus: Aston Villa and Leeds to miss out on defender; must turn attentions elsewhere

According to reports in the Brighton Argus, Brighton and Hove Albion are set to beat Championship rivals Aston Villa and Leeds United to the signing defender Vegard Forren.

What’s the story, then?

Well, the 29-year-old is available to sign for a club now as he is a free agent, and had looked set to join Norwegian champions Rosenborg.

However, Forren has attracted interest from a host of Championship clubs and looks instead to try and make a name for himself in England.

Automatic promotion hopefuls Brighton are in need of defensive cover with Shane Duffy and Conor Goldson both on the sidelines, while Aston Villa and Leeds United are both understood to want to strengthen at the back as the campaign comes down to its climax.

His name rings a bell, doesn’t it?

Good knowledge. In fact, Forren joined Premier League Southampton for £4m from Molde in January 2013, but he failed to make a single appearance for the first team and returned to the Norwegian outfit that summer.

It sounds as though Villa and Leeds haven’t missed out, then?

It’s hard to say. Obviously he didn’t impress Mauricio Pochettino at Southampton, but Forren has enjoyed a successful career back in his homeland – spending 10 years with Molde – while he has 33 caps for his country, so he certainly has something to offer.

Do Villa and Leeds have other targets?

Well, Steve Bruce’s Villa currently have former Blackburn Rovers and QPR centre-back Christopher Samba on trial, and they could look to sign him on a permanent deal having missed out on Forren.

While Kyle Bartley and Pontus Jansson have formed a formidable partnership at the back for Garry Monk’s side this season, there is little cover beyond them and the former Swansea boss may still look to add a new centre-back to his ranks if another free agent is available.