Leeds target questioning ‘concrete’ Bielsa proposal after CL dream crashes

Date published: Thursday 17th September 2020 3:41 - Jonny Whitfield

Marcelo Bielsa TEAMtalk

Dinamo Zagreb defender Josko Gvardiol could reportedly look to take up Leeds’ “concrete” transfer offer after his side crashed out of the Champions League qualifying stages.

Zagreb needed to beat Ferencvaros in the third qualifying round on Wednesday to keep their European dream alive.

However, their Hungarian opponents prevailed 2-1, meaning Zagreb will now compete for a place in the Europa League.

Previous reports have claimed Leeds have expressed firm interest in Gvardiol, 18. The Whites submitted a first bid earlier this month, increasing that to €22million (£20million) amid further approaches.

And while another claim Leeds’ approach threatened to scare Gvardiol off from moving to West Yorkshire, Index (via Sport Witness) now reports that the deal could be back on.

The source says Zagreb’s failure to qualify for the Champions League “could change” Gvardiol’s mind.

The Croatian was pinning his hopes on playing at the top level but he could now look for a move elsewhere rather than staying in the Croatian capital.

What’s more, Leeds‘ offer remains the only “concrete” proposal as it stands.

Joško Gvardiol TEAMtalk

Zagreb are now reportedly keen to offload the 18-year-old with Wednesday’s defeat set to decimate the club financially.

Should Zagreb have qualified for the Champions League, they would have immediately earned €15.2million (£13.8million).

Now, however, a place in the Europa League only guarantees them €2.9million (£2.6million).

Selling Gvardiol would reportedly assure the club of a “financially calmer year”.

Leeds have already added several exciting signings to their ranks in recent months. Their biggest acquisition was club-record signing Rodrigo, who arrived from Valencia in August.

Marcelo Bielsa has also strengthened in defence, bringing in Robin Koch from Freiburg.


Rodrigo de Paul

Meanwhile, reports elsewhere say Leeds are still working on a deal to sign Udinese’s Rodrigo de Paul.

Hopes of the signing suffered a jolt when it emerged Udinese insisted there would be no discount on their €35m asking price.

However, all hope is not lost for Leeds, with the very latest in Italy giving new hope a deal can be struck.

According to local Udine paper, Messaggero Veneto, ‘negotiation remains hot’ with Leeds United. Furthermore, they make it clear there’s still a firm chance of the player signing for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

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