The increasing interest of Marcelo Bielsa in a €22m-rated Leeds target has bizarrely caused him to baulk at the chance of joining the club, claims a report.
The Whites are set to embark on their first top flight campaign since 2004.
A tricky trip to Liverpool awaits on opening weekend, though Reds boss Jurgen Klopp does believe Leeds could take the league by storm.
Bielsa’s squad appears to be fairly settled ahead of the season, though defensive reinforcements could still be on the agenda.
Centre-half Robin Koch signed on the dotted line after Ben White’s return to Elland Road hit a dead end.
But with Gaetano Berardi set for an extended period on the sidelines, further additions are required.
The 18-year-old is seen as one of Croatia’s brightest prospects, and has also attracted the attentions of RB Leizpig.
They note that Bielsa’s persistence in pursuing Gvardiol has made him ‘move away’ from the prospect of joining Leeds.
After recently signing his first professional contract with Dinamo Zagreb, Gvardiol wishes to ‘mature’ in his homeland.
Bielsa sees Gvardiol making an immediate impact in England, however, and the player is hesitant to make such a big step up so early in his career.
RB Leipzig are now seen as the more attractive proposition, it is claimed, with the club’s reputation for ‘gradual development’ of its players seen as more enticing.
Brighton deny White disappointment at failed Leeds switch
Graham Potter insists there was never any disappointment from Ben White that he couldn’t return to Leeds this summer.
White enjoyed an excellent loan spell at Elland Road in the 2019-20 campaign. The defender was ever-present in the Championship as Leeds gained promotion.
Leeds had been hopeful of securing a permanent deal for White ahead of their return to the Premier League. However, Brighton did not want to sell to a club who are now a direct rival.
The South Coast club turned down a number of bids from Leeds, the largest of which was approximately £25m.