Leeds United are looking to replace Pontus Jansson with Aston Villa centre-back James Chester, according to the Mirror via the Daily Star.
The Villains favourite is believed to have become the priority target for Whites Director of Football Victor Orta after losing Sweden international Jansson to Brentford for £5.5million plus add-ons, as promotion is the only goal for the upcoming season.
Chester is seen as the man to plug the gap in our backline, but could cost as much as £7.5million as Villa boss Dean Smith is in no urgent rush to part ways with the Welshman.
Smith has already signed off on close to £100million worth of transfers this summer, as the Birmingham-based outfit put to good use the lucrative payout from winning last term’s Championship Play-Off Final.
Among the plethora of new arrivals at Villa Park have been Brentford’s Ezri Konsa and Reims defender Bjorn Engels, alongside permanent deals for Bournemouth’s Tyrone Mings and Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Kortney Hause. The quartet’s arrival in Birmingham has pushed Chester down the Villains’ pecking order, to be Smith’s fifth choice heading into the new campaign.
Chester could yet find his chances of minutes slashed further with Villa plotting a loan move for Chelsea’s Ethan Ampadu, but Smith is open to a wealth of options at the back as he readies his side for the top-flight.
Given Chester suffered more than his fair share of injuries last season, and missed four months with a knee injury, Leeds supporters reacting to the reports of our interest have not been decisive in their wishes to see the Welshman move to Elland Road.
Fans have been quick to reflect on our own injury struggles in 2018/19 which derailed our promotion bid, while the price tag being quoted has also raised some eyebrows given what we received for Jansson and the fact that Chester is 30-years-old.
The Warrington-born defender has represented Wales 35 times at senior level, with his last outing on the international stage coming last November in a 2-1 UEFA Nations League defeat to Denmark.
Here’s how these Whites fans reacted when Chester was linked with a future in West Yorkshire…