Leeds near £18m Croatian swoop; Rodrigo De Paul transfer hint

Date published: Saturday 5th September 2020 11:36 - James Marshment

Josko Gvardiol

Leeds United are closing on the signing of Dinamo Zagreb defender Josko Gvardiol – and talks are ongoing for Rodrigo De Paul.

Victor Orta has been busy adding to Leeds’ newly-promoted squad with the arrivals of centre-back Robin Koch and striker Rodrigo Moreno. However, Marcelo Bielsa needs further defensive cover after Gaetano Berardi was ruled out for nine months.

United had targeted a deal for Rangers left-back Borna Barisic, seeing an £8m offer rebuffed.

However, they have now focused their efforts on Gvardiol, who is rated at £18m. The added bonus for Leeds is that the 18-year-old can cover both centre-half and left-back.

Rated as one of Croatian football’s brightest prospects, Gvardiol will be seen as another exciting addition for Leeds.

Gvardiol is not short of admirers either. Manchester City, Lille, Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich and RB Leipzig have all been keeping tabs on his development.

However, it is Leeds who are close to his signing.


Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has claimed a deal is close between Leeds and Dinamo Zagreb.

He tweeted: “Agreement to be reached soon for Josko Gvardiol to Leeds. Confirmed. Talks still on for Rodrigo de Paul.”


De Paul talks continue

As touched on by Romano, Leeds also remain hot on the trail of Udinese playmaker Rodrigo De Paul.

The Udinese playmaker is a firm target for Bielsa with Leeds’ interest labelled “serious” by The Athletic’s Phil Hay.

Rodrigo de Paul


And, as per sources in Italy, Leeds officials held talks with Udinese owner Gino Pozzo over the weekend.

Leeds would need to smash their transfer record and offer around €35m to lure De Paul away from the Dacia Arena. He only extended his contract last October to June 2024.

Leeds’ hopes of a transfer were given a lift after he liked a social media post from their current record signing, Rodrigo Moreno.

The Spain striker spoke to the local media for the first time since signing for the Whites from his training base with his country. You can read that interview here…

Moreno posted a photo from the chat on his Instagram feed. In the post, he promised to “learn better English” ahead of his arrival in Yorkshire.

Tellingly (or perhaps not!) for Leeds, the post was ‘liked’ by De Paul, suggesting at least he is keeping a close eye on developments at Elland Road.


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