Bielsa plots reunion with forgotten Chelsea man to bolster Leeds firepower

Date published: Saturday 15th August 2020 4:00 - Steve Pearson


The interest of Leeds in a Chelsea forward has been confirmed after Marcelo Bielsa hatched a reunion plan to add fresh impetus to his side’s attack.

The Yorkshire club are set to embark on their first top flight campaign since 2004.

But while they eventually cruised to promotion with a 10-point gap over WBA, questions remain over areas of their squad.

Divisive figure Patrick Bamford led Leeds’ frontline for much of the season, yet became synonymous with wastefulness.

A slew of missed opportunities amid a startlingly low conversion rate dulled Leeds’ attack at times. And as such, several options to improve their potency up front have been touted.

Canadian Jonathan David had been speculated as one potential option, but the exciting forward snubbed the opportunity to instead join Lille.

Now, according to The Express (who cite The Athletic’s Phil Hay), The Whites’ interest in another forward has been confirmed.

Chelsea’s Michy Batshuayi is the man in question, with Bielsa familiar with the Belgian’s talents from their time at Marseille.

Batshuayi Bielsa Marseille TEAMtalk

The 26-year-old has fallen down the pecking order at Chelsea behind Tammy Abraham and Olivier Giroud. While the arrival of Timo Werner paints an even bleaker picture for future first-team action.

Hay said on the The Phil Hay Show podcast: “One who has been mentioned and there has been definitely an interest [from Leeds United] is Michy Batshuayi from Chelsea.

“Bielsa knew him as a youngster at Marseille when he was the manager there so he knows a lot about his game.

“He wouldn’t have to adapt massively to what Bielsa does.”

Batshuayi has just 12 months remaining on his current contract. Therefore, the time would be now if Chelsea were looking to sell and receive a fee.

The Express claim The Blues are seeking to recoup most of the £33m they forked out for the hitman, though this appears unlikely given his contract status.

Batshuayi Chelsea TEAMtalk


Liverpool asking price turns Leeds away

Meanwhile, Leeds United consider Liverpool’s asking price for Yasser Larouci too high, according to reports.

Larouci is one of three Liverpool players being chased by Leeds ahead of their return to the Premier League. The West Yorkshire side have also been linked with Divock Origi and Harry Wilson.

Larouci, 19, only has a year left on his contract at Anfield. The Premier League champions have just added more competition in his position at left-back with the signing of Kostas Tsimikas. Therefore, Larouci is likely to leave the club this summer.

Leeds have emerged as one of the main competitors for Larouci’s signature. Brentford, whom they beat to promotion, have also shown an interest.

Read the full story here.


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