Leeds United are in advanced talks over their second senior signing of the summer with a deal for Newcastle goalkeeper Karl Darlow edging closer.
The Whites are preparing for life back in the EFL after a three-year spell in the Premier League. Their time in the top flight came to an end with a whimper as they failed to win any of their last eight games to finish in 19th place.
But with just under two weeks until the beginning of the new season gets underway, Leeds still have plenty of issues to solve with the make-up of their squad.
And while the club have already bid farewell to several stars – Rasmus Kristensen, Brenden Aaronson, Marc Roca, Robin Koch and Diego Llorente have all left on loan, while Rodrigo Moreno and Tyler Roberts have left in permanent deals – there still remains lots of questions to answer.
One of the more pressing issues surrounds who will play in goal. Long-running No 1 Illan Meslier lost his position in goal during the back end of last season after a number of high-profile mistakes.
And while he remains on the club’s books, there remains a firm chance he could move on. To that end, Leeds are reportedly putting a £10m to £12m asking price on the Frenchman’s head.
With Joel Robles also departing Elland Road, Leeds are in the market for a new goalkeeper; a hunt that has seen them focus on two possible options.
However, after seeing one target Alexander Nubel on Tuesday sign for Stuttgart on loan from Bayern Munich, Leeds at least have some better news in the form of Darlow.
Leeds close on Karl Darlow swoop
The long-serving Newcastle goalkeeper has slipped to fourth choice at St James’ Park behind Nick Pope, Martin Dubravka and Loris Karius.
As a result, the Magpies had made it clear that the 32-year was free to leave this summer.
Leeds were among the first clubs to show their hand, while Bournemouth were also in the running for his signing.
However, despite Leeds’ EFL status, they were always favourites for his signature. And with Bournemouth on Tuesday moving to sign Andrei Radu on loan from Inter Milan, the Whites have been left with a clear run at Darlow.
Now according to multiple sources, Leeds are now in ‘advanced talks’ over a deal for Darlow.
And his signing is expected to be confirmed in the coming days with his arrival likely to hasten Meslier’s departure.
Standing 6ft 3, Darlow will become Leeds’ second senior signing of the summer, joining Ethan Ampadu at Elland Road.
Max Wober transfer U-turn revealed by Phil Hay
Meanwhile, the latest Leeds player expected to leave the club, Max Wober, performed an unexpected U-turn on his future at the club, Phil Hay reports.
The Austrian moved to Leeds in January, signing from RB Salzburg in a deal worth around £11m. The defender made a pretty rapid impact at Leeds too, coming in and proving a bit of an organiser in their defence and tough in the tackle, which in the first half of the season, was too often missing.
Following relegation to the Championship, Wober had initially made clear his intentions to stay and help secure promotion.
However, after being left out of the side that lost 2-0 to Monaco on Saturday, it emerged that Wober is closing on a move to Borussia Monchengladbach.
Reflecting on what appears a transfer U-turn from the 25-year-old, The Athletic’s Hay shared what he knows on the Square Ball podcast.
“Wober was definitely a player Leeds wanted to keep, and you could sense that in [Daniel] Farke’s comments afterwards, that was a disappointment for him and it was a blow,” Hay stated.
“He was someone they wanted to build the defence around. He was giving them, I was told anyway, the indication that he would stay, but there is this offer from Borussia Monchengladbach, it looks like he’s going to go for the season.”
Wober’s move to Germany is not expected to give Gladbach an option to make the move permanent, meaning Wober will, in theory, be set to return to Leeds next summer.
However, the deal will see Leeds reach their limits as far as international loan exits are concerned. And that means any departures going forwards will likely have to be on permanent deals only.