Italian reports tip Moroccan to replace Mateusz Klich as star explains Leeds exit reasons in farewell message

Abdelhamid Sabiri of UC Sampdoria reacts during the Serie A football match between UC Sampdoria and Genoa CFC

Leeds midfielder Mateusz Klich has penned a brilliant and emotional farewell message to the club and their supporters after an emotional exit at Elland Road on Wednesday evening.

The Poland star is a hugely popular figure at Leeds, and was the first signing of director of football Victor Orta’s reign back in summer 2017. However, his five-and-a-half-year spell at the club came to an end on Wednesday during the 2-2 draw with West Ham.

The midfielder was clearly in tears as he clapped all four corners stands and was then given a guard of honour off the pitch by his teammates and manager Jesse Marsch.

After the match, Marsch confirmed that Klich is leaving Leeds, with the club also issuing a statement.

The player is now expected to move to MLS, where a new chapter of his career will likely begin with DC United. With 18 months left on his deal, Leeds can expect to obtain a modest fee for the 32-year-old.

Indeed, news that Klich was unhappy at Elland Road and that he was pushing to leave was exclusively revealed by TEAMtalk in November.

Now the player has issued an emotional statement confirming his exit, and also for the reasons behind his departure.

And he admits that too much time on the bench under Marsch was the reason behind his farewell.

“Dr Leeds United family,” wrote Klich.

“When I arrived here from Holland in 2017 I had high hopes for my time in England. Whilst my first year was more like a nightmare, the following four and a half years had been a dream.

Mateusz Klich explains reasons for Leeds Utd exit

“It felt like my career at this club started under Marcelo in the first home game against Stoke City at Elland Road. The atmosphere was electric and we were unplayable. This felt like the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

“The supporters of this club are unlike anyone else, which is perfect for me. I feel that you understand me as a player and as a person, and I understand you and represent you on the pitch too. I think this is the meaning of the ‘Klichousery.’

“It is always special to me and my family to hear you chant ’20 yards’ or ’30 yards’ and these are the moments I will never forget. From me and my family, thank you Leeds fans. I want to say thank you to Victor Orta for bringing me to Leeds and for believing in me after the first year when many others didn’t.

“I would also like to thank Marcelo and his staff for giving me the opportunity to succeed. To Jesse and his team, I wish you all the best for the future.

“I would like to thank all of the backroom staff at Thorp Arch from the medical team to the kitchen staff and beyond. Finally to the players I’ve played with both past and present, it has been an honour. There is something unique about the 2019-20 team who overcame a lot to succeed against the odds. The spirit of this team will live on.

“I wish I could stay, but I have never enjoyed being on the bench and I want to play as much as I can in the coming years and that is why I am closing this chapter, but I will never forget my time in Yorkshire. All Leeds aren’t we. PS, Bob, I forgive you.”

Leeds linked with Morocco star to replace Klich

The reference at the end, to ‘Bob’, refers to a Klich tweet that went viral. That came after he received online abuse from a ‘supporter’ called ‘Bob’. The Pole responded by telling Bob where to go. A brilliant anecdote for the player to sign off on.

Attention will now to potential replacements for the Klich.

And reports in the Italian media claim Leeds are keen to sign Morocco star Abdelhamid Sabiri as his replacement.

The attacking midfielder currently plays in Serie A for Sampdoria, where he has two goals from 13 appearances this season. Aged 26, he was part of the Morocco side that historically reached the World Cup semi-finals at Qatar 2022.

Per Calciomercato, Leeds are one of a handful of clubs keen on a January deal for Sabiri. Fiorentina, Lazio and Torino are also reportedly keen on the star.

They write: ‘The English club should replace the departing Klich and would have selected Sabiri as a possible low-cost alternative.

‘Obviously, there is a gap between the quotation of Sampdoria, which would like to obtain between 8 and 10 million (£8.8m) from the boy, and the possible English proposal.

‘In fact, Leeds could put a figure between 6 and 7 million (£6.2m) on the plate. But at that point it would not be impossible to find an agreement.’

Sabiri is no stranger to West Yorkshire, having played seven games for Huddersfield during their Premier League stint.

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