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7th Mar, 2017 | 10:16am

Leeds transfer news: Major development in three-club tussle for 33-time international - report

By Will Butcher

Championship rivals Brighton are ready to make a swoop for defender Vegard Forren amid interest from Leeds and Aston Villa, according to a report.

The Argus claims Brighton will make a move for the 33-time Norway international, who is currently a free agent after his contract with Norwegian giants Molde expired on January 1.

It is believed the defender had been targeted by Leeds and Villa bosses Garry Monk and Steve Bruce as well as Brighton, as they looked to give the 29-year-old stopper a second chance in English football.

Forren has previously had a short stint at Premier League outfit Southampton, where he signed a three-and-a-half-year deal in January 2013.

However, his stay on the south coast lasted just six months before he was allowed to rejoin Molde, where he had initially left to join the Saints four years ago.

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Now, Chris Hughton’s side are set to offer Forren another route back into English football after Ireland international Shane Duffy was ruled out until April with a foot injury.

Leeds possess three recognised central defenders in Pontus Jansson, Kyle Bartley and Liam Cooper, but all three have suffered injuries this season and cover could be required.

Football Insider verdict:

With a chance of promotion through the play-offs, Monk will be fretting over the availability of fan favourite Jansson who remains just two yellow cards away from a three-match ban. Bringing in a central defender, then, could prove crucial in aiding Leeds’ chances of gaining promotion back to the top flight since their relegation in 2004. However, Monk must move quickly if he likes the look of Forren, with promotion rivals Brighton set to beat Leeds to the punch. However, former Swansea boss Monk must consider Forren’s failures at Southampton, which saw him fail to make a single senior appearance during his six-month spell at St. Mary’s Stadium if he is to make a last-minute move.

In other Leeds transfer news, fans have reacted to speculation that this top-flight teenager as joined the Whites.

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