By Alex Stevens
Southampton are preparing a summer swoop for Leeds defender Pontus Jansson, according to a report.
Sky Sports claim on their transfer centre blog (Wednesday, 12.25pm) that the established Premier League club are eyeing moves for Jansson and Swansea playmaker Gylfi Sigurdsson.
It is said that Southampton believe they can lure Jansson and Sigurdsson from their current clubs if they are faced with the prospect of Championship football next season.
It would take big money to sign both Jansson and Sigurdsson as they are tied to contracts at Elland Road and St St Marty’s Stadium until the summer of 2020.
The Sun reported last Sunday in their print edition (page 57) that Southampton are prepared to offer £10.5million to prise Swedish centre-back Jansson from Leeds.
Sky Sports have gone a step further by claiming the Premier League top-ten regulars are confident a deal can be pushed through if seventh-placed Championship outfit Leeds fail in their promotion bid.
It is said that the Saints are “resigned” to losing Virgil can Dijk when he recovers from the ankle injury that is keeping him on the sidelines and regard Jansson as a replacement.
The Yorkshire giants rescued the centre-back from a disappointing spell at Torino by signing him on a season-long loan that has paid huge dividends.
Jansson, 26, has been a colossus at the back for Monk’s promotion hopefuls and was last week named in the Football League team of the season.
Leeds announced in January that they have agreed to sign the Swede on a permanent deal for £3.5million when his loan expires in the summer and that a three-year contract has been signed that runs until 2020.
Jansson has made 32 league appearances for Leeds and established a formidable partnership with fellow loanee Bartley in the back four.
The duo have been key to the Yorkshire club’s impressive campaign and have laid the foundations for a concerted promotion challenge.
Leeds fell out of the top six for the first time in months on Monday when they fell to a shock 1-0 home defeat to Wolves, but remain in the mix for one of the play-off places.
Fulham climbed to sixth following their 3-1 win over Aston Villa but are ahead of Monk’s side only on goal difference.
In other Leeds United transfer news, a stunning £14million bid is being prepared as deal edges closer with Premier League big hitters.