Leeds eye January swoop for Bielsa star, wrecking revised plan in process

Luke Freeman, Lewis O'Brien

Leeds still have interest in Huddersfield midfielder Lewis O’Brien and could return to a transfer in January, a report claims.

The Whites made several attempts in this summer’s window to get a deal over the line for the 22-year-old. In fact, Terriers chief Peter Hodgkinson has revealed he rejected four bids. While their final £13million offer was a satisfactory one, Huddersfield wanted a better payment structure.

Hodgkinson told BBC Radio Leeds: “It didn’t work for us as a football club, and my concern was the fact Leeds wouldn’t go up to a structure we wanted, which was a reasonable one. Even the player’s agent said so.

“That said to me he was going to Leeds as a squad player, because if you want someone and you want them to come and play in the Premier League [you meet the seller’s demands].

“We weren’t that far apart on the guaranteed amount and the structure of the add-ons, we weren’t that far apart, it was a million pounds in reality.”

According to Football Insider, though, Leeds have not lost hope of securing a deal in January.

Until then, they will keep dialogue open with Huddersfield and O’Brien’s representative, Kevin Sharp.

Following his failed move to Elland Road, the player has opened talks with Sharp and Huddersfield over a new contract. Indeed, his current terms expire next summer.

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It remains unclear whether O’Brien will sign a new deal before then.

However, Football Insider adds that, if Leeds maintain transfer dialogue, they know O’Brien expressed excitement at wanting to join up with Whites boss Marcelo Bielsa.

Hodgkinson admitted as much, saying: “Lewis said ‘Of course I want to play in the Premier League and playing for someone like Bielsa, with his reputation, can only make me better, but I understand the offer’s got to be right for the football club’.

“‘It will not affect me in any way, it will not affect my commitment, what I do in training, what I do on the pitch, I just want to play football, that’s all I want to do’.”

Leeds target admits transfer regret

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Midtjylland’s Jens Cajuste was another midfielder on Bielsa’s watch list this summer.

The Sweden international capped off a strong 2020/21 season by making a cameo outing at Euro 2020.

He also reportedly had interest from Newcastle, Brentford and Rangers.

Cajuste wanted a move to a different league and has now admitted as such.

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