Bielsa ‘completely convinced’ as Leeds near agreement for top performer vital to plans

Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds manager in pre-season

Leeds United are closing on a new deal for Adam Forshaw following the midfielder’s triumphant return from his two years of injury hell.

The Whites have failed to hit the heights they reached last season in the current campaign. Many theories have been presented as to why Marcelo Bielsa’s side have struggled this time round. However, it is hard to look past the obvious explanation of their lengthy injury list.

Indeed, the Whites have suffered more than most in that department this season. Such has been their lack of options, they had to field a bench exclusively full of Under-23s stars for a recent match with Arsenal.

To that end, Leeds still won’t be able to call on Kalvin Phillips or Liam Cooper before March. Hamstring problems for the pair are proving more troublesome that initially expected.

In the absence of Phillips in midfield, Leeds would have been in a major pickle had Forshaw not been available once again.

The midfielder, 30, has spent the last two years trying to overcome a serious hip issue. At times, it looked like he may be forced to retire.

However, Forshaw made a return to action against Crewe in the League Cup in August. Since then, he’s made 14 appearances in all competitions, proving a player of huge importance to Bielsa.

Adam Forshaw Leeds

His performances have been of such a high standard that even Bielsa spoke of his surprise at his levels of performance.

Now,Leeds plan to reward Forshaw with a much-deserved new contract. His current deal expires at season’s end, meaning the clock is ticking on the Whites.

Agreement close for Adam Forshaw

Writing for The Athletic, Phil Hay now claims an agreement is close for the midfielder to extend his stay.

“The Athletic understands, however, that Leeds and Forshaw’s representatives are in active discussions about an extension to that deal and are optimistic of reaching an agreement,” he wrote.

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“Leeds supported Adam Forshaw through almost two years of surgery and rehabilitation and have seen enough in him post-comeback to want to avoid a scenario where they lose him for nothing.”

Indeed, Forshaw has been huge for Leeds this season, with Bielsa very much driving the quest to extend his deal. The Argentine is keen to ensure his rejuvenated midfielder remains at Elland Road long beyond the summer.

But given Phillips will remain sidelined until March, Forshaw may soon be joined by a new face in midfield.

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Leeds United are now stepping up their efforts to land a new midfielder this January, with a reliable source reporting that remains the club’s top priority of the January transfer window.

Sky Sports reporter Dharmesh Sheth insists that is now Leeds’ transfer window focus.

“Leeds United made their first signing of the window on Tuesday. They have a shortlist of midfield options now,” he said.

To that end, a report on Tuesday claimed Leeds had made contact with Marseille over the Boubacar Kamara transfer.

The Whites are also reportedly looking to other signings too. Indeed, a report earlier this week suggests Cagliari’s Nahitan Nandez is again on their wishlist. That’s amid claims his asking price has been drastically reduced.

More modest options include Reading’s John Swift, a player Bielsa admires, and Huddersfield’s Lewis O’Brien.

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