Leeds United have been in the hunt for a midfielder throughout the summer, as Victor Orta looks to strengthen Marcelo Bielsa’s options in the centre of the field.
It was well publicised that Leeds made a big play for Chelsea’s Conor Gallagher and felt they could convince the 21-year-old to join the club on a season’s loan. Unfortunately though, he chose to move to Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace instead.
This meant that Victor Orta had to move onto other targets. One of these is Huddersfield Town’s Lewis O’Brien, who Bielsa is reportedly a big fan of. Leeds’ Head Coach even went to the John Smith’s Stadium to carry out an in-person scouting mission during Huddersfield’s victory over Sheffield Wednesday in the Carabao Cup.
It’s said that Leeds made an initial bid for the midfielder but that the two clubs were a long way apart in terms of valuation.
With less than two weeks of the transfer window remaining, Leeds Live brings you the story so far, as the club look ready to bid once again.
£7m package mooted
Leeds United are ‘edging close’ to a deal for the Huddersfield Town midfielder, according to the Telegraph.
They claim that the club are hopeful that a package worth £7million plus add-ons can be approved for the 22-year-old.
The report adds that Bielsa wants to complete a deal before the end of the window and is also looking to land a new winger.
O’Brien makes decision
In recent days it has been reported that Crystal Palace have the same midfield target as the Whites once again and are willing to challenge Leeds for O’Brien’s signature.
However, as reported at the weekend, the player himself would prefer to move the Elland Road, according to The Sun.
The paper claims that Leeds are prepared to come far closer to Huddersfield’s asking price and are readying a £7m bid, which they hope will be enough to seal the deal.
O’Brien missing for Huddersfield
Amidst the transfer speculation, O’Brien has missed consecutive games for the Terriers.
Given that he only missed four games in the entirety of last season, this isn’t like the 22-year-old but his absence is neither due to the speculation nor an injury. In fact, it’s due to Covid-19. He first returned a positive test before the club’s opening league game and has not yet been allowed to participate in training.
Leeds fans disagree on O’Brien
Before Gallagher and O’Brien became the main names to be linked to Leeds, there were many glamorous names from top European leagues being put forward as the primary targets.
Although these names were never pursued by the club and have been denied as targets whenever asked, Cagliari’s Nahitan Nandez continues to be linked and Rodrigo De Paul was mentioned all over social media until it became clear that he was signing for Spanish champions Atletico Madrid.
These kinds of links, added to the international signings Leeds made last summer have meant that the fan base has been torn over the thought of O’Brien as primary target. Some have felt that ‘proven top-flight form’ is required.
However, this came in response to an article where former Premier League forward, Kevin Campbell, claimed that the midfielder would be a ‘great signing’ for Leeds.
Kinnear on O’Brien
Angus Kinnear has had his say on Leeds’ pursuit as well, explaining earlier this month that the Whites are interested in the Huddersfield man.
“Lewis’ name has been on the scouting reports but there’s been no movement on that at the moment,” Kinnear told The Square Ball Podcast.
The lowdown on O’Brien
Although the transfer saga has been going for a couple of weeks now, there are some who might not know much about the Colchester-born man. Leeds Live has provided a short report to get the lowdown on the player and why he is deemed the right man to come and strengthen a side that wants to establish themselves in the top half of the Premier League.