Phil Hay confirms Leeds interest in 67-goal striker as Whites finalise Max Wober signing with final fee, shirt No revealed
Leeds United have completed their first signing of the January window after announcing the capture of left-sided defender Maximilian Wober from RB Salzburg.
The Whites are sat 14th in the Premier League, but just two points clear of the relegation zone in what looks another battle to beat the drop. Leeds survived by the skin of their teeth last season, escaping after a final-day victory at Brentford condemned Burnley to the drop instead.
This time around, the margins for safety could prove even tighter. They face a crucial encounter with surprise strugglers West Ham on Wednesday evening, with the Hammers currently 17th in the table. A win could lift Leeds up a place to 13th, while defeat could see them drop into the bottom three.
However, in order to enhance their hopes of survival, Leeds have already sealed their first signing of the January window. And the capture of Wober addresses a very obvious shortfall in Jesse Marsch’s squad.
The 24-year-old Austrian is a centre-half by trade, but has been excelling at left-back for Salzburg this season. And that is where he is expected to feature with Leeds missing a natural left-back all season.
They have, however, been able to count upon Pascal Struijk – a centre-half himself usually – to great effect and he has proven one of their more consistent performers this season.
However, the capture of Wober will allow Struijk to move back into his more natural position at centre-half.
Confirming his signing, Leeds have revealed that Wober has signed a four-and-a-half-year deal at Elland Road. He will wear the No 39 shirt and, according to Austrian paper Salzburger Nachrichten, will cost up to £17.7m (€20m) with bonuses.
Leeds turn attention to Coventry striker Viktor Gyokeres
Wober arrives at Elland Road with a solid reputation, scoring twice and assisting six times from 21 appearances this season.
After counting Sevilla and Ajax among his former clubs, Wober moved to Salzburg in 2019. He was won the Austrian league and cup double for three seasons in a row, scoring nine times in 125 appearances in total.
He will be eligible to make his debut in Sunday’s FA Cup third-round tie against Cardiff City in the Welsh capital.
After finalising Wober’s signing so quickly, Leeds are now turning their attention towards the capture of a new striker.
The Whites have relied on record signing Rodrigo Moreno this season, with the Spaniard netting nine times in total.
However, with Patrick Bamford continuing to struggle with injury, the striker is now into a 13th month without a goal.
Interest in Coventry striker confirmed
To eleviate the problem, Leeds are reportedly casting their eyes towards the Championship. And last week they were among those reportedly sniffing around Coventry striker Viktor Gyokeres.
Now The Athletic’s Phil Hay has confirmed Leeds director of football Victor Orta is keen on the 67-goal striker.
“He’s been linked before and Orta has definitely has had an eye on him,” he told the Phil Hay Show. “He’s kind of been in the ether in the same way that Che Adams at Southampton has been as well.
“To my mind, he clearly scores goals and clearly has something about him. He clearly would fit the model that Leeds tend to go for.”
Rated at around £16m, the 11-times capped Sweden striker has 12 goals in 25 appearances so far this season.
READ MORE: Calls grow for Tottenham to axe icon who’s sabotaging Conte, with Leeds Utd providing perfect replacement