Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Twist of fate as Orta gets set to deliver long-term Bielsa target for Leeds

Victor Orta, Leeds United flag

Leeds United will reportedly get their hands on long-term target Lewis O’Brien in the January window after a breakthrough in their hopes was cited by a trusted source.

The Whites tracked the Huddersfield midfielder over the summer and saw a £13m offer knocked back. Indeed, Huddersfield chairman Phil Hodgkinson admits he was willing to sell the player had the Whites financed their package to Town a little better.

Hodgkinson told BBC Radio Leeds: “It didn’t work for us as a football club. My concern was the fact Leeds wouldn’t go up to a structure we wanted, which was a reasonable one. Even the player’s agent said so.

“That said to me he was going to Leeds as a squad player, because if you want someone and you want them to come and play in the Premier League [you meet the seller’s demands].

“We weren’t that far apart on the guaranteed amount and the structure of the add-ons, we weren’t that far apart, it was a million pounds in reality.”

And while interest from Leeds was also welcomed by the player, O’Brien has since gone on to sign a new deal with Town. Indeed, his new contract ties the midfielder down to the John Smith’s Stadium until summer 2025.

As such, Leeds were seemingly expected to fork out nearer to £20m were they to pursue their interest.

However, a twist of fate has now put Leeds back in the driving seat to sign O’Brien. And now the deal appears set to go through for a ‘discounted fee’. That’s after Town chairman Hodgkinson seemingly hit some financial trouble.

That’s the verdict of trusted journalist Alan Nixon.

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Writing in his column in The Sun, Nixon claims suitors for O’Brien could try their luck at a cheaper price.

“Huddersfield star Lewis O’Brien can move in the window for a fixed fee of £10million,” he wrote. “Midfield dynamo O’Brien signed a new deal in the summer when Leeds United tried for him but that agreement included a price clause in his terms.

“And, with Terriers owner Phil Hodgkinson having trouble in his business empire, there could be bidders trying their luck for the 23-year-old in the New Year.”

Bielsa buoyant after Leeds draw

Marcelo Bielsa, meanwhile, was delighted with his Leeds players after their 1-1 draw with Leicester on Sunday.

The Whites produced a dominant display and were unfortunate not to take all three points against the Foxes.

Nonetheless, Bielsa was pleased with their display and claims his players were worthy of the win.

Speaking to the BBC after the match, Bielsa said: “We created double the amount of danger than them.

“We dominated a large part of the game. We defended well and we attacked well. And even if we deserved to win, we didn’t manage to obtain it.

“We managed a good performances against a good opponent.

“Football has those moments, there was two identical plays. They had one goal ruled out the same way but we couldn’t finish our chance [when Jack Harrison missed from close out].

“Offensively we duplicated the opponents in chances. We took the ball off them a lot, and we had good possession.”

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