Fabrizio Romano confirms Leeds first winter capture as Jesse Marsch moves to solve problem position
Leeds United have reportedly begun their winter recruitment by agreeing a deal to sign versatile defender Maximilian Wober from Red Bull Salzburg.
The Whites had been tipped to strengthen in the January transfer window after a tough first part of the campaign. Having secured their Premier League survival on the last day of 2021-2022, fans would have hoped for a solid campaign. However, the Elland Road outfit have taken just 16 points from as many games to sit 14th in the standings.
They are only three points above the drop zone as the clubs around them continue to battle for survival.
The main problem has been shipping goals, with 29 conceded in the league to date.
But they did manage to blank high-flying Newcastle United on Saturday, holding the Magpies to a 0-0 draw at St James’ Park.
That ended a two-game losing streak during which they conceded seven goals to Tottenham and Manchester City.
Jesse Marsch has acted quicky after the turn of the year, with reports that Wober has now signed for Leeds.
The club has yet to officially announce the signing although widespread reports claimed he underwent a medical earlier this week.
However, respected transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano believes the deal is virtually complete.
It is thought the West Yorkshire club will pay an initial £9.74m, with £4.4m in add-ons.
Wober can play at centre back or left-back and gives Marsch options in his rearguard.
Wober to plug gap in Leeds defence
Leeds are not the only club to have eyes on the Austria interantional. Liverpool were linked two years ago in the winter window.
However, he remained at Salzburg to play under the guidance of Marsch. But, it seems as though his stint in Austria is now over having made 125 appearances in all competitions for Die Roten Bullen.
The Vienna-born ace has been capped 13 times by Austria and does have experience of playing in the Champions League.
Marsch is clearly a fan having lured him to Salzburg from Sevilla. The pair will now work together in the Premier League as Leeds look to secure their top-flight status.
Although Wober can play in central defence, it is thought that Marsch will utilise him in a left-back role.
Junior Firpo has struggled since moving to Elland Road and is now down the pecking order.
The 26-year-old has hardly featured this term, with injuries and lack of form hampering his progress.
Marsch has previously backed the Dominican Republic-born defender to come good.
However, with Leeds latest capture, his chances of seeing much game time have diminished even further.
Defensive recruits key for Leeds
Wober, 24, has plenty of experience, having played 39 games for Ajax earlier in his career.
The Premier League will be a step up for the man with 13 Austria caps. And Marsch will hope that he can cope with the transition to English football.
It remains to be seen if Leeds target any other defenders during the current window.
They have been linked with Villarreal left-back Alfonso Pedraza. And a recent report claimed they are the only team in the race for his signature.
Whether or not the capture of Wober alters Marsch’s plans only time will tell. But fans will be pleased that the club are acting fast to try to turn things around.
Leeds are next in action when they entertain West Ham United on Wednesday evening.
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