Regarded as one of the best young defenders in Europe, Kjaer has been linked with several leading English clubs, including Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City.
He is Denmark’s established centre-back alongside Daniel Agger, but suffered a knee injury in a pre-tournament friendly against Senegal that left him in serious danger of missing the World Cup.
Kjaer joined Italian side Palermo from Midtjylland in 2008 after Real Madrid had had a bid rejected by the Danish club. He has been outstanding in Serie A. The player has three years of his Palermo contract left to run, but a clause in the deal enables Kjaer to move for a fee in the region of £10.5m, and he is widely expected to be playing in England next season. His agent is former Denmark and Middlesbrough striker Mikkel Beck.
Kjaer caused controversy ahead of Denmark’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Portugal last year, when he suggested his team should single out Cristiano Ronaldo for rough treatment. The Portuguese Football Federation complained to Fifa, but calls for him to be suspended were ignored. The emergence of Kjaer, who was voted his country’s player of the year in 2009, has been a timely boost for Denmark following the loss of ex-Aston Villa defender Martin Laursen, whose retirement through injury left a big void.
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