Leeds coach reveals lengthy talks with overshadowed star, as sale tipped after stand-out Carabao Cup display

Mateusz Klich, Leeds v Barnsley August 2022

Leeds United assistant boss Rene Maric says the club have had “a lot of talks” over the future of Mateusz Klich, following his stand-out Carabao Cup display.

The Poland international starred with a brace and reached 50 career goals on Wednesday as the Whites downed Barnsley at Elland Road to reach the third round – where they will play Wolves at home.

Klich, who moved to Leeds in 2017, played a vital role in their promotion. He continued his key influence until Marcelo Bielsa’s sacking last season.

Since then, though, new manager Jesse Marsch has revamped his midfield – with Klich now not a regular starter.

However, the 32-year-old – who has two years left on his contract – showed a battling display against Barnsley to lead the Elland Road club past their Yorkshire rivals.

And Leeds assistant boss Maric said: “We’ve had a lot of talks with him, he’s very committed.

“The locker room in general is very, very good. He’s a good personality in training, came on against Wolves and Southampton [in the Premier League], very good player.

“He showed it today over 90 minutes exceptionally well, he supports build-up and shows his qualities.”

Leeds battle back to win comfortably

Championship side Barnsley had the better of the early chances, but Leeds grew into the contest at Elland Road.

And it was summer signing Luis Sinisterra who opened the scoring for the hosts on his first start for the club. The Colombian curled the ball into the right corner from a fair distance out.

Klich then made it 2-0 from the penalty spot after Sinisterra was fouled.

Mads Juel Andersen hit back for Barnsley from a set-piece before Callum Styles missed a penalty which could have made it 2-2.

In the second half, Klich showed composure just like with his spot-kick to make it 3-1.

Leeds assistant Maric said of his side’s overall display: “The performance was good, we could have done better. We weren’t as consistent over 90 minutes as we wanted, we allowed the opposition to come into our defensive third.

“We trust the whole squad to compete for the starting XI. It’s good, but we can improve on other things.”

On Sinisterra, Maric added: “Great player, great guy. I’m happy he was able to reward himself after injury and the way he trains. A lot more to come from him, you could see he is not as present as he could be during the game.”

Klich display leads to exit claim

Speaking on talkSPORT‘s commentary of Leeds’ win, former Elland Road star Danny Mills had his say on Klich’s future.

“He’s been absolutely superb, his attitude has been spot-on,” Mills said. “In terms of quality, composure, he has been head and shoulders above everybody else on the pitch.

“If he’s not going to be part of Jesse Marsch’s plans in the first team, any other club must be thinking ‘I tell you what, we’ll take him’, because he’s got out-and-out quality.

“He’s got quality, he keeps the ball, he works hard, he’s got an eye for goal. He needs to play because the World Cup is coming up.”

Mills also backed Leeds’ youngsters to “learn” after almost seeing their two-goal cushion evaporate in the first half.

Leeds return to action on Saturday when they play Brighton at the Amex Stadium.