Crystal Palace transfer to give Leeds Utd timely jolt over Bielsa’s top target

Man Utd winger Jesse Lingard tussling with Watford midfielder Will Hughes 2021

Leeds Utd could be handed a timely boost in their quest to sign a midfield target after Crystal Palace turned their attention to Watford’s Will Hughes.

Leeds arguably entered the new campaign in a weaker position than they finished the last. Kristoffer Klaesson has been drafted in to provide back-up to Illan Meslier, while Junior Firpo is an upgrade on Ezgjan Alioski.

However, the exits of Gaetano Berardi and Pablo Hernandez have diminished their depth. Furthermore, their quest to lighten the midfield load shouldered by Kalvin Phillips has not yet yielded a breakthrough.

One player touted as being capable of sharing the burden was Huddersfield Town’s Lewis O’Brien.

The 22-year-old has attracted the interest of both Leeds Utd and Crystal Palace. However, according to the Sun, the Eagles have shifted their focus to Watford’s Hughes.

They state Palace are ‘poised to agree a £10m deal’ with the Hornets over the 26-year-old. The transfer will cost an initial £7m prior to a potential further £3m in add-ons.

Agreeing personal terms are not expected to be an issue, and Hughes’ move could strengthen Leeds’ position over O’Brien.

Huddersfield Town's Lewis O'Brien in action against Derby at Pride Park

The Whites reportedly recently lodged a £5m bid that was rejected by Huddersfield.

An improved offer was thought to be in the works, but with a bidding war now out of the question, the Sun claim the Terriers may be willing to loosen their demands.

An offer of £5m with add-ons taking the total fee to £8m is predicted to yield success.

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“Emotional” Bielsa hails Leeds Utd saviour versus Everton

Meanwhile, Marcelo Bielsa has said it was ‘very emotional’ to see the return of a full capacity crowd to Elland Road and named the player he believes made the draw with Everton possible.

Speaking to Match of the Day after the match, Bielsa said: “We dominated a large portion of the game. More than the opponent but in function of that dominance we should have created more chances at goal and suffered less chances at our goal.

“The public is always a stimulus and the presence of the spectators is very important. It made us very happy and it was very emotional to play in front of them again.”

Leeds fans had been made to wait to see their side in front of a packed out ground for the first time since their promotion from the Championship.

They certainly made up for lost time. They created a striking atmosphere before the game and throughout the 90 minutes. Not only did Bielsa credit them, but he also heaped praise on his No. 1 Meslier.

“Our goalkeeper made two interventions that we valued as a goal in our favour today and allowed us to get the draw,” the Argentine added.

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