Huddersfield Town are vulnerable to a Lewis O’Brien raid, and Leeds are one of five Premier League sides chasing a deal, TEAMtalk understands.
The 23-year-old enjoyed another fantastic campaign pulling the strings in Huddersfield’s engine room. The Terriers vice-captain made 43 league appearances last season, bagging three goals and three assists along the way.
O’Brien’s emergence put him on the radar of a host of top flight sides in recent times, most notably Leeds Utd.
The Whites pushed for a deal in January to help lighten the load on Kalvin Phillips. However, it was reported O’Brien’s release clause turned Leeds off.
The Sun claimed the clause was set around the £10m mark, though TEAMtalk has been told it’s closer to £12m.
Huddersfield were hopeful they’d be able to retain their influential midfielder if they achieved promotion. However, a narrow 1-0 defeat in the play-off final saw Nottingham Forest promoted instead.
As such, we understand O’Brien is now destined to leave this summer.
The presence of the release clause ensures Huddersfield are powerless to prevent him from leaving. However, the £12m they’ll receive will at least ensure they’re well compensated.
Huddersfield do retain hope of pinning him down to fresh terms. However, that scenario is unlikely at present and a host of clubs are looking to land him in the coming months.
Leeds are long-term admirers, whilst Crystal Palace, Southampton and promoted duo Bournemouth and Fulham are all in the mix.
Championship outfits West Brom and Sheffield United are also big admirers, though a move to the bright lights of the Premier League would obviously appeal to the player more.
Should Leeds finally bite the bullet for Lewis O’Brien?
The Athletic’s Phil Hay recently claimed Leeds will seek to add midfield reinforcements irrespective of whether Kalvin Phillips leaves. Providing the Whites talisman with proper support has been something that has eluded Leeds since their return to the Premier League.
Mateusz Klich has struggled to make the step up in class, while Adam Forshaw continues to labour with injuries.
Brenden Aaronson will arrive from RB Salzburg, though the American operates in a more advanced role.
O’Brien would represent a cost-effective addition to Jesse Marsch’s midfield and the fact Leeds have chased him through multiple windows speaks to their high levels of interest.
Hay claimed a new right-back is also on their agenda and the funds available to Marsch won’t be bottomless. As such, O’Brien could be exactly the profile and cost of player Leeds require for their engine room.