Leeds Utd transfers: Path clear for permanent move as sporting director signals intent to sign up £12.9m loan star

Robin Koch is on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt from Leeds

Robin Koch is on loan at Eintracht Frankfurt from Leeds

Leeds United appear to have found a permanent home for on-loan defender Robin Koch after a sporting director outlined his aims of signing the player in a permanent deal.

The 27-year-old departed Elland Road over the summer to return to his homeland with Eintracht Frankfurt on an initial season-long loan. Koch had previously joined Leeds at the start of their Premier League adventure, arriving in a £12.9m deal from Freiburg in the summer of 2020.

While he endured an injury-hit first couple of seasons, Koch went on to make 39 appearances in all competitions during the 2022/23 campaign. However, with Leeds struggling all season long and going through four different managers, including those in caretaker charge, it was little surprise to see the club succumb to relegation.

Indeed, Koch was one of the first out the door during the summer, exploiting a clause in his contract to depart Elland Road on loan.

And the eight-times capped Germany international was quickly snapped up by Frankfurt, who were seeking a successor to Evan Ndicka, following his free-transfer exit to Roma.

Since his move to Germany, Koch has proved a major success for Frankfurt. He has been an ever present in the heart of their defence, playing four times in the Bundesliga and also collecting two appearances so far in the Europa Conference League.

Currently ninth in the table, having won one and drawn three of their games, Dino Toppmoller’s side are one of just four sides still unbeaten in the Bundesliga this season.

Having only conceded three goals in that time, Koch’s performances have already been recognised.

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Frankfurt want to sign Robin Koch from Leeds permanently

And now Frankfurt’s sporting director Markus Krosche has already expressed a wish to make his move to the club permanent.

Speaking to SportBild, Krosche says Frankfurt have a ‘clear plan’ to ‘keep Koch for the long term’ and beyond the expiry of his one-year loan arrangement.

To that end, talks expected to take place with Leeds over a permanent deal in the new year.

Germany legend Lothar Matthaus is also impressed, having tipped Koch to force his way back into the Germany national squad ahead of the 2024 European Championships.

Krosche stated: “He’s right! Robin brings a lot of stability and wins a lot of duels. He is calm when building up the game under pressure. Certainly a clear candidate for the national team.”

Per reports, Leeds would seek a fee in the region of €15m for Koch – giving the club back the £12.9m they initially paid for his signature.

His deal at Elland Road is due to expire in summer 2025, having signed an extension during the first-half of last season.

And while Leeds could ultimately ask him to return following the expiry of his loan, the club are unlikely to push to keep a player who ultimately wants to be elsewhere.

Much of course will depend on which division Leeds are in come the end of the season. However, with loanee Joe Rodon making his impact felt as a replacement, it is unlikely Leeds will put up much of a fight if Frankfurt meet their demands over a permanent deal.

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