Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Bielsa lieutenant facing axe as Marsch targets Man Utd transfer to ignite Leeds revolution

Man Utd loanee James Garner alongside Liverpool midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

Leeds boss Jesse Marsch could begin his first transfer window in charge by replacing a Marcelo Bielsa lieutenant with Man Utd midfielder James Garner, per reports.

Marsch was drafted in to replace Bielsa with one goal in mind – avoiding relegation. Leeds gave their survival hopes a huge lift prior to the international break when securing successive victories against Norwich and Wolves.

While they are not out of the woods yet, the situation is looking rosier than just a few shorts weeks ago.

And if the West Yorkshire outfit do beat the drop, Marsch and the club’s attention will quickly turn to how they can avoid this type of struggle next season. The most obvious way is through the transfer market.

Leeds United have once again laboured whenever midfield general Kalvin Phillips has been absent. Adam Forshaw’s return to fitness this season was a timely one, while Mateusz Klich continues to add depth in central midfield.

However, according to the Athletic’s Phil Hay, Marsch is targeting an upgrade in the engine room this summer.

Responding to a Mailbag question, Hay talked up a Leeds raid for Manchester United midfielder James Garner.

James Garner primed for top flight chance

The 21-year-old is currently excelling in his second loan stint at Nottingham Forest. He’s been a regular in the league and was a key component in Forest’s march to the FA Cup quarter-finals.

Garner bagged two assists along the way as Forest dumped out Arsenal, Leicester and Huddersfield Town before narrowly falling to Liverpool. There is a growing feeling Garner is already Premier League-ready.

He will return to Old Trafford at season’s end. Though whether he will be given a chance to impress remains to be seen.

United are expected to target central midfield options themselves in the summer window. If one or two major names are added, Garner could quickly become surplus to requirements.

Marsch is deemed a fan of Garner and a Leeds move could be the logical next step for his development.

One might expect the rivalry between the two clubs to torpedo any Leeds plans. However, Dan James made the move from Old Trafford to Elland Road last summer. That showed deals can be made in the right time and place.

FootballFanCast acknowledge the Garner to Leeds speculation and suggest his arrival would spell the end for Mateusz Klich.

The Poland international was one of Bielsa’s most trusted lieutenants during his reign. Though he has struggled with the step up in class in the Premier League.

Klich will also turn 32 in the summer, and the outlet predict he would make way if Garner were signed.