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Second Leeds transfer done as defender departs; Cresswell could follow as Leeds eye Premier League defender

Chris Mepham of Bournemouth and Wales is a target for Leeds

Chris Mepham of Bournemouth and Wales is a target for Leeds

Leeds United defender Kris Moore has completed a loan move to Hibernian, TEAMtalk can reveal, but the homegrown academy defender may not be the last defender to quit Elland Road this month, while a Bournemouth player is on their radar.

It was announced earlier on Tuesday that Leeds‘ £12.7m signing from Freiburg in summer 2020, Robin Koch, has sealed a free-transfer move to Eintracht Frankfurt, where he moved on loan over the summer. Koch has agreed a three-year deal with the Bundesliga side and will move on a free-transfer with his deal at Elland Road coming to an end.

We understand Leeds did have an option to extend Koch’s four-year deal by a further 12 months, but only if they remained a Premier League side at the time of its renewal. As a result, their demotion to the second tier meant Koch was both eligible to move away and Leeds lost their right to extend his stay.

The timing of their relegation also meant that Koch ultimately departed Elland Road for nothing, although Leeds did save on his wages and did collect a loan fee, believed to be around €3m (£2.6m), from Frankfurt.

Koch made 77 appearances for Leeds during his three-year stay in West Yorkshire.

TEAMtalk can also reveal that another defender, Moore, has also departed Elland Road, joining Scottish side Hibs on loan until the end of the season.

The 20-year-old is a regular with Leeds’ Under-21s side and was rewarded for his fine form at that level with a new two-year deal over the summer.

However, the centre-half, who can also play in both full-back positions, is ready to make the step-up to first-team football.

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Kris Moore leaves Leeds to join Hibs

The high competition at Leeds, though, ensured that would not come at Elland Road, meaning a move away was the best option for all parties.

That opportunity came around after Hibernian, managed by Leeds-born former Sheffield United midfielder Nick Montgomery, offered him a chance north of the border.

We can now reveal Moore has joined Hibs on their warm weather training camp in Dubai, with their season due to resume on January 20 and a Scottish Cup fourth round clash against Forfar.

Leeds could also say farewell to another defender this month too in Charlie Cresswell, with the England Under-21 international also frustrated by a lack of first-team opportunities.

Cresswell was a notable exclusion from the matchday squad for Sunday’s FA Cup win at Peterborough; a game he might have expected to be involved in, given the changes Daniel Farke made to the side.

However, the 21-year-old has just six appearances for the Whites this season, having not featured since the 1-0 win over QPR in early October.

Blackburn, Middlesbrough and Ipswich are among the sides interested in his services, though Leeds valuation – believed to be £4m – £5m – is likely too pricey for the trio. As a result, they could all look to push through a loan move instead.

Leeds linked with third Bournemouth player

With Leeds potentially bidding farewell to three centre-halves this month – albeit only Cresswell in with a chance of first-team football, the Whites are being linked with a move for Bournemouth defender Chris Mepham.

The Wales international, capped 44 times by his country, has dropped down the pecking order under Andoni Iraola this season, having made just eight appearances in all competitions for the Cherries this season.

The 26-year-old cost Bournemouth £12m when signing from Brentford in January 2019 and has made 108 appearances in total.

Leeds already have Jaidon Anthony on loan from Bournemouth, with Luis Sinisterra having moved the other way, while Leeds are also reportedly keen on their attacker David Brook. The Whites have also been tipped up as suitors for towering striker Kieffer Moore, who has reportedly been put up for sale at the Vitality Stadium.

The Whites do have space in their squad for at least three Premier League loans, having sent Djed Spence back to Tottenham last week.

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