Leeds United’s hopes of signing Hwang Hee-chan have received a further lift amid claims Wolves are willing to sell – while TEAMtalk understands another striker signing before the transfer window closes could also be on for the Whites.
The Whites have made a rapid start to the new season, fuelled by some impressive new signings. Indeed, Brenden Aaronson, Marc Roca and Tyler Adams have all made significant contributions for Jesse Marsch’s side already. They travel to Brighton on Saturday looking for a third win in four games this season, having trounced Chelsea 3-0 in their last Premier League game.
Despite making eight new signings so far, there are two areas of the side that Leeds are still vulnerable in. Injury – coupled with worring form last season – for Junior Firpo means the left-back slot is an area of vulnerability. That said, Pascal Struijk’s excellent start to the season operating as cover means the Whites are unlikely to make another signing there.
It’s a different story, however, in attack. Record signing Rodrigo is currently the Premier League’s top scorer with four goals already. His best form has been a long time coming as far as Leeds are concerned.
He is playing in a more central position with Patrick Bamford recently limping out against Southampton. He has missed the last two games, though could return to the bench at the Amex on Saturday.
That said, the England cap managed just 560 minutes of Premier League football last season. And with injury problems cropping up again, Leeds will be concerned that they don’t have enough cover up front.
Young star Joe Gelhardt remains an option, though he’s clearly more suited to a No 10 role, as opposed playing as a central striker.
As such, Leeds are looking to add another striker before the window closes.
Hwang Hee-chan talk gathers pace for Leeds
One player Leeds are seemingly keen on is Hwang Hee-chan. The striker only made his move to Wolves permanent this summer following a loan deal, but reports claim they could cash in if the price is right.
Indeed, Hwang is seemingly keen on the move to Leeds, having twice previously worked with Marsch before. And United’s interest in the player has also been confirmed by trusted Leeds oracle, Phil Hay.
Now it seems Leeds’ hopes of progressing the deal have received a timely boost. As per the Express & Star, the transfer of Hwang may well go through before Thursday’s 11pm deadline.
Furthermore, the Daily Mirror backs up those claims saying the move is possible and Wolves need to wheel and deal.
Writing in his latest column, journalist Tim Nash claims a deal could be on the cards.
“Hee-Chan Hwang is hot property on the pitch – but the Wolves forward is ice cool off it,” he wrote.
“The South Korea star is a £15million target for Leeds, and Molineux chief Bruno Lage accepts he might have to wheel and deal in the transfer market.”
Wolves boss Bruno Lage insists he wants Hwang to stay, though admist market forces could change his mind.
“I’m very happy with him and I like him a lot,” he said.
“Sometimes Hwang comes here at 9.30pm just to have an ice bath and then he goes home.
“Hwang spends a lot of time in the academy like other players and he wants to be in his best shape all the time, and do everything he can to play.
“So we’re talking about a great professional, a great kid, a top player and someone who scored six important goals for us last season.
Leeds also chasing second striker in Willy Gnonto
“Who wouldn’t want a player like him? I want him, I like him, but in the end we need to understand the market and the situation of the club.
“So we are looking for players from other teams, and we need to expect other teams are looking at our players also. He can play as a winger – especially on the left – and as a striker, like he’s done in the first few games.”
If Leeds can get Hwang over the line, he could be in their squad for next weekend’s clash against Brentford.
And it seems he might not be the only striker signing Leeds make with a deal for Willy Gnonto also in the works.
Leeds have already agreed personal terms with the FC Zurich striker, with talks seemingly progressing.
The Whites have seen an opening bid rejected by his club and that has alerted Bournemouth over his possible signing.
Indeed, Cherries technical director Richard Hughes watched Gnonto in action against Hearts on Thursday in their Europa League qualifier at Tynecastle.
That has prompted talk that Bournemouth could look to gazump Leeds in the chase for the 18-year-old.
However, TEAMtalk understand Leeds remain at the front of the queue to sign the striker, with Gnoto favouring a move to Elland Road.