Leeds United

Leeds United


Leeds lead four-club chase for mistreated Chelsea forward as Jesse Marsch looks to replace star he regrets letting leave

Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech, Chelsea, form a defensive wall during Premier League game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park

Leeds United are reportedly one of four clubs chasing a deal for struggling Chelsea forward Christian Pulisic, amid reports the Blues have put a reasonable price on his head ahead of the January window.

The USA star has suffered at Stamford Bridge in recent times. Signing from a Borussia Dortmund in a £58m deal in January 2019, Pulisic has made 123 appearances for the Blues in all competitions. However, he only made 13 Premier League starts last season, while it’s a similar story this time around.

Indeed, Pulisic has cut an unhappy and frustrated figure around Chelsea of late. His previous manager Thomas Tuchel failed to find him a regular spot in his side. And while he is one of six players we believe could benefit from Graham Potter’s appointment, a new report claims otherwise.

To that end, Calciomercato reports that Chelsea are willing to cash in on Pulisic this summer for a relatively modest fee. Indeed, the Italian outlet claims interim sporting director Todd Boehly has placed a £31.2m (€35m) asking price on his head.

And it’s hinted the player is unlikely to figure in Potter’s plans going forwards. And should he be able to move the American on, Potter is reportedly eyeing a deal for his former Brighton charge Leandro Trossard.

With the player seemingly feeling mistreated by Chelsea, he is open to the possibility of a move away to kickstart his career.

That knockdown fee for Pulisic is, understandably, said to have alerted a number of potential suitors.

As well as Leeds, Newcastle are also considering a move to bring the 24-year-old to north-east.

The pair, though, may find themselves shrugged aside with both Juventus and his former club Dortmund are reportedly in the mix.

Jesse Marsch a huge fan of Christian Pulisic

The links towards Pulisic from a Leeds point of view are a relative obvious one. The Whites have a strong American core these days with Brenden Aaronson and Tyler Adams in their ranks. Jack Harrison also has MLS ties – and he’s one of 10 Premier League stars who England need to be wary of switching their allegiances.

Of course, they also have Jesse Marsch in charge and Pulisic is a player very well known to the Leeds boss.

And Marsch has previously admitted his admiration for his compatriot.

Speaking earlier this summer, he said: “Christian [Pulisic] is a big, big talent, the best in our country. The expectations on him are high, he has met a lot of those expectations. But with his talent, people are demanding more.

“Every time I’ve coached against him, he’s scored. I don’t have any negative criticisms. I would love to work with him, whether it is with the national team in the distant future. He has created a lot of firsts for American players.”

Whether Leeds, though, could pull off a deal for Pulisic remains to be seen. The winger is a player who will, quite rightly, feel he deserves to be playing at Champions League level. And while a move to Elland Road would delight Leeds, it might be a step too low for him at this stage of his career.

Marsch keen to find Dan James replacement

The Whites, of course, do retain a strong interest in signing PSV winger Cody Gakpo. He was the subject of a club-record bid from the Whites on transfer deadline day, only for the move to fail.

Having been advised to stay at PSV by Louis van Gaal prior to the World Cup, Leeds could yet launch a fresh approach to sign Gakpo in January.

Gakpo, though, is likely to attract clubs higher up the food chain than Leeds. And should that fail, there remains a possibility that they could instead turn to Pulisic.

Either way, Marsch is looking to boost his attacking options in January. Leeds surprisingly allowed Dan James to depart for Fulham on deadline day, with the move causing much surprise.

Marsch himself was reportedly among those against his sale, with the American expressing his disappointment at James’ exit.

“Yeah, it was clear that if we needed to add something that we needed to move something,” Marsch said. “I hate speaking about it that way because I love Dan James. He’s an incredible person and he gives everything to the group always.

“I wish that we wouldn’t have had to do it. And even the way that it went down because it was kind of tough for Dan.

“We discussed it weeks before the transfer deadline about the possibility. And then we had a lot of open conversations with Dan. It was tough at the end because I know he likes it here and his family likes it here.

“I wish him luck and I really liked him and I hope he has a good season and a good World Cup. And hopefully then we’ll see him again next time.”

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