Leeds United

Leeds United

Championship

Leeds Utd risk next major defensive exit after ambitious approach by Belgian side for supposedly committed star

Leeds United defenders Liam Cooper and Pascal Struijk

Leeds United defenders Liam Cooper and Pascal Struijk

Pascal Struijk could become the latest defender to leave Leeds United after he became the subject of an exit link barely any time after claiming his plan has been to stay at Elland Road.

Since their relegation to the Championship, Leeds have lost several players from their squad. In defence alone, Robin Koch has gone to Eintracht Frankfurt, Rasmus Kristensen has followed Diego Llorente to Roma, and Maximilian Wober is on his way to Borussia Monchengladbach.

Now, claims have emerged suggesting that Struijk could also be on his way out from Leeds. According to De Telegraaf, he has become a target for Club Brugge in Belgium.

Although he has previously represented the Netherlands at youth level, Struijk was born in Belgium. Therefore, a move to Club Brugge would take him closer to home.

It is claimed that Ronny Deila’s side will try to sign Struijk, since they believe he has the credentials to lead their defence. Much would depend, though, on the asking price Leeds would set.

Many of the players to have left Leeds this summer have gone away on loan. However, there are limits to how many players can leave clubs via that formula, which means an exit for Struijk might have to be a permanent one.

He is under contract, though, until 2027 after agreeing to a new deal back in December. Furthermore, he has recently made a point of it by telling the Yorkshire Evening Post that his intention has always been to remain at the club ahead of next season.

Struijk said: “I mean, my contract isn’t till 2027 so I’m always ready to come back and then give my all for this club.

“So yes [I was always going to stay].”

Struijk price off limits for suitors

And according to an update from Het Laatste Nieuws, Struijk may well prove to be beyond reach financially for Club Brugge.

Interest from the Europa Conference League qualifiers has been confirmed, so the move isn’t impossible, but the costs of the operation appear to be too expensive for them.

Struijk could therefore set out on a fifth season in the Leeds first team. His first five appearances for the club came in the Championship back in their promotion-winning 2019-2o season.

As things stand, he is looking likely to get some more second-tier experience under his belt next term.

The new campaign commences for Leeds on August 6 with a home match against Cardiff City.

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