Leeds Utd could add a second RB Salzburg star to their ranks in the form of Rasmus Kristensen, while a Man Utd raid has been mentioned amid a Kalvin Phillips update.
The Whites narrowly averted disaster when securing their Premier League survival on the final day. Leeds endured a tumultuous campaign that saw the injury bug bite and legendary manager Marcelo Bielsa axed. Yet when all was said and done, another campaign in the top flight next season awaits.
To avoid the repeats of last year, Leeds will hope to bolster their ranks this summer. RB Salzburg’s Brenden Aaronson is certain to arrive after wrapping up an agreement that had its roots in January.
But according to the Athletic’s Phil Hay, Aaronson could be joined at Elland Road by a familiar face from Salzburg.
Hay reported Leeds are looking to upgrade at right-back and Denmark international Rasmus Kristensen is in their sights.
The 24-year-old remarkably bagged 10 goals and eight assists for Salzburg across all competitions last season. He is well known to former Salzburg manager Jesse Marsch, though the Leeds boss will face stiff competition for Kristensen’s signature.
German giant Borussia Dortmund and fellow Premier League outfit Brentford are deemed to be in the running. Regardless, Leeds have an opportunity with Hay concluding Kristensen is ‘widely expected’ to depart this summer.
A move could cost in the region of £10m and Leeds are termed ‘following’ his situation.
Kalvin Phillips future won’t affect Leeds plans
Aside from right-back, Hay also stressed Leeds will look to add to their midfield ranks – even if Kalvin Phillips stays.
Phillips had been linked with numerous clubs including Man Utd, Man City and Aston Villa.
However, Villa have signed Boubacar Kamara, while a move to bitter rivals United now seems highly unlikely after Leeds beat the drop. A move to Man City could appeal, though he’d struggle to displace Rodri.
Hay did not speculate as to whether Phillips will stay or go. However, he did stress Leeds chief Victor Orta will seek to make additions in the middle of the park regardless of whether Phillips is retained.
The two players Hay namechecked as potential candidates to lighten the load are James Garner and Lewis O’Brien.
Man Utd’s Garner, 21, is a hot commodity following a stellar loan spell at Nottingham Forest. New United boss Erik ten Hag will reportedly give Garner a chance to impress in pre-season.
But should the decision be made to move Garner on – either on loan or permanently – Leeds will be waiting.
Leeds’ long-standing interest in Huddersfield’s O’Brien was also reaffirmed. The fact the Terriers missed out on promotion could accelerate a transfer out of Huddersfield this summer.
Which positions should Leeds prioritise?
Aaronson’s arrival will add energy to the midfield, though the American plays in a more advanced role than the likes of O’Brien and Garner.
Adam Forshaw performed admirably alongside Phillips before succumbing to another injury. Though now in his 30s, providing Phillips with a new partner in the engine room makes sense.
Signing an upgrade on Luke Ayling at right-back also appears wise on paper. Ayling excelled in his debut season in the Premier League, though came back down to earth last season.
Hay noted Leeds mulled a free agent swoop for Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah, thus hinting they seek strong competition for Patrick Bamford up top.
That is another area Leeds could address given the likes of Daniel James and Tyler Roberts were ineffective while deployed as a false nine in Bamford’s absences. However, Joe Gelhardt’s emergence could make signing a new striker less of a priority.
The final area Leeds should seek to revamp is left-back. Junior Firpo endured a dismal campaign from start to finish following his arrival from Barcelona.
While it may make sense to give the full-back another season to prove his worth, he showed very little to suggest he is of the standard required.