Bielsa strategy saw Leeds Utd pass on critical signings from Man Utd and Tottenham

Marcelo Bielsa, Leeds Utd manager during Premier League game at West Ham

Leeds Utd snubbed the chance to sign players from Man Utd and Tottenham in January, and Marcelo Bielsa’s thinking behind the lack of action has emerged, per a report.

The Whites made adding a central midfielder their top priotity in the winter window. Huddersfield’s Lewis O’Brien was again linked, with the Sun suggesting a late bid could’ve bene launched.

Tino Anjorin’s loan switch from Chelsea to the Terriers prompted talk O’Brien could be on the move, though a bid was never lodged.

Instead, Leeds’ transfer hopes rested entirely on RB Salzburg’s Brenden Aaronson. Leeds did bid for the American international, but their chase ultimately failed to bear fruit.

Leeds may yet return in the summer for the all-action 23-year-old. However, why their pursuit now looks trickier than ever is detailed at the foot of this article.

Kalvin Phillips and Adam Forshaw have been Bielsa’s main lieutenants in the engine room this season. But with Phillips out until March with a hamstring injury, depth is perilously thin at present.

Leeds Utd rejected Man Utd, Tottenham deals

The loan market could’ve provided a temporary solution to Bielsa’s woes. And per the Yorkshire Post, Leeds had the opportunity to sign Man Utd’s Donny Van de Beek and Tottenham’s Harry Winks.

The outlet state Leeds Utd were ‘offered’ both moves, though neither would move to Elland Road. Instead, Van de Beek signed on loan under Frank Lampard at Everton. Winks remained in north London.

The article alludes to the reason why Leeds opted against adding to their squad at a time when their relegation rivals – Newcastle especially – all strengthened.

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They state Bielsa was ‘adamant’ that new signings would not be made unless they were improvements on what he already had. In other words, the Argentine only wanted regular starters, and was uninterested in adding depth pieces.

Leeds have invested heavily since their return to the Premier League. Indeed, they have plundered around £140m into new signings – a figure that puts them well within the top half in spending over the last 18 months.

As such, Bielsa did not want to burden the club’s financial department further with options he did not deem a necessity.

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Leeds inaction could cost them Aaronson transfer

Meanwhile, Leeds United look far from certain over securing a Brenden Aaronson transfer this summer following their failure to land the American in January.

United saw their opening £15million bid for the USA international swiftly rejected. A second, increased offer of £20m was soon launched, only with Salzburg once again standing firm.

Leeds Utd chief Victor Orta travelled to Austria to try and grease the wheels. However, Salzburg stood firm and refused to sell their man.

That said, there is hope for Leeds in that Aaronson himself is reportedly keen to make the move. Furthermore, we understand that Leeds remain confident of tying up a summer deal for the USA star. In fact, Orta’s presence in Austria may well have been to do exactly that.

However, fresh reports are now suggesting that Leeds will not have it all their own way this summer. Indeed, as per Forbes journalist Manuel Veth, Leeds will be rivalled by both AC Milan and RB Leipzig for Aaronson.

Veth said: “Sources have told me from the very beginning that there was no chance of a winter move to [Leeds].

“Also to add, Leeds are not the only interested club in a potential summer move for Salzburg’s Aaronson. Both Milan and Leipzig are monitoring the situation.”

READ MORE: Paper Talk: Liverpool joined by three Euro powerhouses aiming for Leeds transfer