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Leeds get green light to sign Chelsea defender as two new suitors emerge for Joe Rodon transfer

Alfie Gilchrist of Chelsea and Joe Rodon, the former Leeds loan defender

Alfie Gilchrist of Chelsea and Joe Rodon, the former Leeds loan defender

Leeds United are emerging as the favourites to sign a talented Chelsea star – but their prospects of bringing Tottenham defender Joe Rodon back to Elland on a permanent basis have suffered another blow with two sides emerging as fresh candidates for his signature.

Wales defender Rodon proved an absolute revelation at Elland Road, appearing in 50 games as Daniel Farke’s side narrowly missed out, not once but twice, on promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking. But while Leeds would love to bring Rodon back on a permanent basis, the fact that clubs higher up the food chain are also keen makes it a tough sell for the Whites.

Nonetheless, Rodon loved life at Leeds and TEAMtalk understands that the chance to make a permanent move to Elland Road is still of appeal to the Spurs defender if the opportunity arose and despite the Whites’ ongoing presence in the second tier.

However, with a £12m to £15m price tag on his head, Leeds may need to sell before they can buy and that will is something they will need to weigh up carefully before any move is activated.

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In the meantime, Rodon has attracted attention from elsewhere and two of the teams who went up ahead of Leeds – Southampton and Ipswich, are both understood to be considering moves of their own for the 44-times capped Wales international.

There might also be interest in his services from overseas with Jose Mourinho’s Fenerbahce also thought to be keen. The Special One brought Rodon to Spurs from Swansea in the first place and Tottenham expert Alasdair Gold has speculated that a reunion in Istanbul could be on the cards.

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Mourinho has already indicated a desire to reunite with Son Heung-min and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg at Fener, and Gold, speaking on his Tottenham podcast, reckons a move for Rodon could also be under consideration.

“I wonder, Jose quite liked Joe Rodon, I wonder if Jose would want to take Joe Rodon to Fenerbahce where he would do very very well,” he stated.

However, Leeds cannot afford to hang around and the loan market is likely to be an important feature for them in this summer’s window. As well as Rodon, Leeds also brought in the likes of Djed Spence, Connor Roberts and Jaidon Anthony on temporary deals over the course of the campaign.

The latest man to be linked with a move is Chelsea defender Alfie Gilchrist, who appeared 17 times in the season just gone under Mauricio Pochettino.

While youth development is important at Stamford Bridge, it’s claimed that the Blues plan to loan Gilchrist out in the 2024/25 campaign, believing a full season under his belt will aid his development.

As a result, Leeds, Blackburn and Preston have all been touted as candidates to sign the 20-year-old, who can operate either as a right-back or a centre-half.

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Trusted journalist Ben Jacobs, speaking on the Just Joe Football Show, though claims a move to Elland Road makes the most sense and he believes Chelsea are ready to give the green light on the prospective move.

“Leeds, Preston and Blackburn are the three clubs who have made a formative approach so far,” Jacobs said.

“To all intents and purposes, Gilchrist would be open to a Leeds move. He’s obviously got great respect, though I know Chelsea and Leeds have their own rivalry. Nonetheless, he would go there, and he would be very willing to fight and try to get promoted.

“The advantage of picking a club like Leeds is that, if it all goes according to plan, it’s that Omari Hutchinson model whereby the best-case scenario is that the player does well, the club goes up and because of Chelsea’s big squad, you might have the opportunity to get something permanent.”

Deals between Leeds and Chelsea are not altogether too common and the two clubs are not always known to have been on the best of terms, given the rivalry that exists between the clubs dating back to the 1970 FA Cup final.

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But the Whites did sign Ethan Ampadu in a bargain £7m deal from the Blues last summer and that may have opened the gateway for the clubs to do business once again.

And if Leeds could get Gilchrist on board, they would be adding a versatile star whom Chelsea would be confident would get the game-time required to aid his development.