Hwang Hee-chan: Phil Hay confirms Leeds Utd transfer plan as lower-than-expected fee emerges for Wolves star

Hwang Hee-Chan of Wolverhampton Wanderers ahead of Premier League game v Leeds United at Molineux Stadium

Leeds United manager Jesse Marsch’s interest in signing Hwang Hee-chan from Wolves has been confirmed by trusted club oracle, Phil Hay.

The Whites have made an excellent start to the new season, recording two wins from their first three games. And they could have had the perfect start had they managed to hold on to a 2-0 lead in their second match, away at Southampton. Leeds return to the south coast on Saturday in their latest game, where unbeaten Brighton will also provide a stiff challenge.

The basis of Leeds’ good start has been the excellent form of new signings Brenden Aaronson, Marc Roca and Tyler Adams. And with Rodrigo revelling in a more central striker position, Leeds will hope on an improved campaign following last season’s relegation struggles.

And despite making eight new signings this summer, the Whites are seemingly not done on the transfer front yet. Marsch’s side still have obvious areas of weakness in their ranks. As a result, they could still use a new left-back and more cover up front.

Indeed, with Patrick Bamford limping off at St Mary’s, the striker has since missed the last two games. And after a 2021/22 season in which he only completed 560 Premier League minutes, Leeds hope he can put those injury concerns to bed.

But were they to suffer a repeat, Leeds would look light in attack. As such, it’s little surprise to see Leeds being linked with a further attacking addition before the window closes.

Among those linked with Leeds are Blackburn’s Ben Brereton Diaz and Che Adams of Southampton. Scotland international Adams, though, has started the new campaign in great form, leading their boss Ralph Hasenhuttl to make a firm declaration on his future.

Hwang Hee-chan interest confirmed

However, the Whites may have more joy if they pursue a deal for Wolves frontman Hwang.

The South Korean was linked with a move to Leeds on Thursday, with rumours fuelled by suggestions he would be keen on the move. Hwang has played under Leeds boss Marsch at RB Salzburg and Leipzig, and reportedly fancies a reunion.

Now, The Athletic journalist Hay has confirmed that Marsch would be keen to land Hwang if the opportunity arose.

“Marsch knows him inside out, he’s worked with him twice,” he said on the Phil Hay Show podcast. “He’s a player I definitely think he would take in the right circumstances.

“But how much would you pay for Hwang, even if his skill-set is kind of ideal or pretty close?

“Looking at the market and there have been some big fees, way above what I thought certain players would cost.

“So if Wolves said ‘well you can have Hwang, but he’s £20million or £25million’, do you do it?”

Lower than expected fee needed for Wolves striker

A £20m deal would still hand Wolves a tidy £6m profit on the £14m they paid to make his move permanent this summer.

That is a small chunk lower than the minimum £25m tag on the player’s head earlier this week.

And if Leeds can get a deal done for that price, he wouldn’t be a bad option off the bench.

Squad depth almost saw Leeds pay the ultimate price last season. To that end, they cannot afford another season of Bamford injury setbacks.

As a result, bringing in established Premier League cover for £20m would not be a bad thing.

The player has struggled at times at Molineux and is yet to win over the Wolves fanbase. Indeed, his record of just five goals in 35 appearances is hardly Box Office stuff.

However, he thrived under Marsch at RB Salzburg. And his former also caught the eye of his one-time teammate Erling Haaland, who described Hwang as ‘brutal’ and ‘dynamic’.

Indeed, Hwang Hee-chan has 68 goals in 242 career appearances – a goal every 3.5 games. Not a bad record, and not a bad option to call upon if required for Leeds.

Marsch, meanwhile, used his press conference on Thursday to confirm his intentions to sign a new striker before the window shuts.