Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Leeds transfer news: Florian Grillitsch slips through Whites’ grasp as perfect Kalvin Phillips replacement nears move

Florian Grillitsch, Hoffenheim, in Bundesliga action against Bayern Munich

Leeds United look likely to miss out on the signing of Florian Grillitsch with the Austrian midfielder closing on a surprise move to Serie A.

The Whites are busy trying to strengthen their squad ahead of the new season as they look to avoid another brush with relegation. Leeds only avoided the dreaded drop on a dramatic final day, with their 2-1 win at Brentford sending Burnley down instead. And now plans to ensure they don’t suffer a repeat are well underway.

Indeed, a deal to take Brenden Aaronson to Leeds was finalised days after survival was confirmed. The 21-year-old American moves to Leeds for £24m, becoming the third most expensive signing in their history.

And last week the capture of Rasmus Kristensen from RB Salzburg was also announced. The Denmark right-back boasts incredible stats and will step in immediately for the injured Luke Ayling.

Jesse Marsch’s side are not hanging about either. They are seemingly also nearing a third deal with a move for Bayern Munich’s Marc Roca reportedly gathering momentum. The former Espanyol midfielder seemingly favours a move to Leeds, over a return to LaLiga.

The Whites are also in the market for a new striker as they look to provide cover and competition for Patrick Bamford.

All these incomings are very much needed with Leeds lacking serious strength in depth in 2021/22. Furthermore, the Premier League will allow up to five substitutes per game next season, meaning their bench options need a serious upgrade anyway.

And while the signings will be welcomed by Leeds, supporters remain fearful over possible departures. Indeed, the likes of Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha continue to attract big-name suitors with the Whites facing a battle to retain the pair’s services.

Florian Grillitsch seen as potential Kalvin Phillips replacement

The loss of either player will be badly felt at Leeds United.

And with Phillips continuing to attract attention from Manchester City, there is reportedly a growing feeling at the club that the hometown hero will be lured away.

Finding a replacement for him will be far from easy. One thing we do know, though, is that any deal for Roca will not be as his replacement. Indeed, were Phillips to depart, Leeds would look to sign a second midfielder alongside Roca.

One man who could have filled that void is Grillitsch.

The 26-year-old is out of contract at Hoffenheim from June 30 and eligible for a free transfer.

Seen as a potential replacement for Phillips, Leeds are one of the sides strongly linked.

Leeds, though, are not alone with their interest in the 33-times capped midfielder. As such, Arsenal, Everton and Lazio are also reportedly keen.

However, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano claims it is Fiorentina who are leading the race for Grillitsch.

He claims talks between the player’s agent and the Serie A side were held on Sunday, although an agreement on personal terms has yet to be reached.

Leeds will need to act quickly to sign replacement

The sale of Phillips will hurt Leeds fans badly. As ‘one of their own’, he has risen from their academy to a regular in the England midfield. But with two years left on his deal, the club will likely sell him this summer. That’s unless an agreement on a contract extension is reached.

As such, the club would be wise to put the wheels in motion over a replacement.

Florian Grillitsch is one such player who can fill that void. As a similarly combative midfielder, he has shone in the Hoffenheim side for the past five seasons.

And at the same age as Phillips, he too has earned recognition with his national side.

Kalvin Phillips wanted by Pep and Manchester City

Pep Guardiola wants Kalvin Phillips from Leeds United to complete his midfield at Manchester City

Indeed, players of his quality on free transfers do not come around too often. As such, Leeds would surely be making a shrewd move by making an approach of their own for Grillitsch.

Phillips has huge shoes to fill at Elland Road. But Grillitsch is one of the few attainable targets out there who would have a chance to do that for Leeds.

Meanwhile, Leeds may be usurped in the race to sign Takumi Minamino with a new Premier League suitor edging into the lead.