Southampton links have been following Pontus Jansson around since the end of February. A Southampton scout watched Leeds United against Sheffield Wednesday, and with the Saints having been linked with Jansson when he was at Malmo, interest made some sort of sense.
Add to that the uncertainty of Virgil van Dijk’s situation, and Southampton’s interest was believable. It’s stuck around, that may be because transfer rumours usually do, at least for a while, or it may be that Southampton have genuine interest and are set to make a move for the Leeds favourite.
Things notched up a gear or two on Wednesday, as Jansson’s agent Martin Dahlin spoke to Expressen, a Swedish newspaper. Dahlin commented on interest in the player and his desire to play Premier League football next season: “He has set his sights on playing in the Premier League next season, that much I can say. But right now he focuses solely on Leeds… interest is high but you will not get me to say specific clubs.”
In a remarkable coincidence, on the same day Dahlin spoke to Expressen, the newspaper said they’d had information provided to them that Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea have all declared their interest in signing the Leeds player.
Liverpool interest would make a level of sense, with Jurgen Klopp short in central defence. However, Tottenham and Chelsea wouldn’t immediately appear to have a need for Pontus Jansson.
Mauricio Pochettino has Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen as his first choice central defence. In back-up there’s the little used Kevin Wimmer, and 19 year old Cameron Carter-Vickers. In the event of a central defender plague, Pochettino could deploy Eric Dier in the position.
Whilst it can’t be ruled out that Tottenham will look to add, and Wimmer may well choose to try his chances elsewhere, Pochettino’s character suggests he’d be likelier to go for a player younger than the 26 year old Leeds United option.
Over at Chelsea Antonio Conte loves a defender. He’s probably got several tucked away in his cellar, just in case. Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Kurt Zouma, Nathan Ake, César Azpilicueta and Marcos Alonso are flexible options to work in a three or a five, however one would like to describe it.
Chelsea also have a battalion of defenders out on loan, the most notable of which is Andreas Christensen. Borussia Monchengladbach would dearly like to keep the Denmark international but have given up hope of being able to do so.
Where does Pontus Jansson fit into the Chelsea equation? The Leeds United defender is a little old for a loan to Vitesse, so it’s hard to fathom a reasonable answer.
Jansson has been an excellent purchase for Leeds, after the defender failed to succeed at Torino, but things are perhaps getting a little over the top. Hey, if we’re playing this game, maybe someone could inform Expressen that Barcelona and Real Madrid are showing a keen interest in the footballer.
Back in the reality of being a Leeds United player in the Championship, rattling the cage and decorating it with shiny bows isn’t the ideal thing to do right now.
Garry Monk and Leeds United face a battle to get back into the play-off places: Pontus Jansson is a cult hero for fans, and perhaps they could expect more right now than transfer games.