Leeds eye £10m Dutch option as Bielsa looks to boost midfield

Dave Tindall

Leeds United could make a bid for AZ Alkmaar captain Teun Koopmeiners as boss Marco Bielsa looks to strengthen up in the middle of the park, according to reports.

The Whites have made a hugely enterprising start to their Premier League campaign. They lost 4-3 to Liverpool in a thriller at Anfield. And they were on the right end of that same scoreline in last week’s home fixture against Fulham.

But Pablo Hernandez suffered a groin strain in the warm-up to the Fulham match. And that shone a light on Bielsa’s lack of options in midfield.

The Argentine boss had to play new striker Rodrigo in a deeper role for the first 45 minutes before he made way at half-time.

With Kalvin Phillips established at the base of midfield, Bielsa wants someone to provide competition for Mateusz Klich in the centre. Klich has started brightly with goals against both Liverpool and Fulham.

The Telegraph report that the man who could fit the bill is Koopmeiners.

The combative 22-year-old came through the ranks at AZ and is now their skipper despite his young age.

A highly-regarded talent, he was in the provisional Netherlands squad for their recent Nations League matches.

AZ value him highly and would expect Leeds to fork out around £10m or more to secure his services.

Bielsa still needs to build despite bolstering defence and attack

Leeds have done some good work in the transfer window so far. They brought in German central defender Robin Koch from Freiburg. And this week they added Diego Llorente from Real Sociedad.

In attack, they splashed out £26m for Rodrigo from Valenica.

But midfield is the the focus now and Koopmeiners looks a realistic option at the price to give Bielsa more options.

Two Serie A targets have also been mentioned. Rodrigo De Paul of Udinese and Ruslan Malinovskyi from Atlanta. Leeds have struggled to agree a fee for the former.

As for AZ, like many Dutch clubs, they’re used to selling to the Premier League. Others who have moved from there include Mousa Dembele, Vincent Janssen and Graziano Pelle.