Leeds hit with another setback in left-back quest by European powerhouse

Date published: Wednesday 23rd June 2021 11:39 - Dan Burnham

Javi Galan Huesca TEAMtalk

Atletico Madrid have expressed an interest in ‘bargain’ Leeds United target Javi Galan, a report has claimed.

Galan was one of the bright sparks in a disappointing 2020/21 season for Spanish side Huesca, who were relegated from LaLiga. The 26-year-old impressed in the left-back role and now looks certain to move this summer having proved he can cut it at the top-flight level. In addition, his release clause of £7m halved to £3.5m as a result of Huesca’s drop down to the second division. Thus, his departure is even more likely.

Naturally, he is attracting a lot of attention from clubs looking to acquire a new left-back. Earlier this month it was reported that one of those interested is Leeds.

The Yorkshire club were said to have turned their attention to Galan after receiving a setback in their pursuit of Brest’s Romain Perraud.

Further reports then indicated that Southampton had pipped Marcelo Bielsa’s men to the signing of the Frenchmen.

And now it looks as though they have received yet another blow in their quest for a left-back, with Mundo Deportivo claiming Atletico are now in the hunt.

The Spanish sports paper report that despite having other priorities in the transfer window, the LaLiga champions are tempted by what would be ‘one of the bargains of the summer’.

They state that Diego Simeone’s main focuses are to secure a midfielder, a goalkeeper and a striker to partner Luis Suarez.

However, Renan Lodi is the only natural left-back in the Atletico squad that Simeone appears to trust. Back-up Manu Sanchez was shipped out to Osasuna last season. He is awaiting a verdict from the manager on his future.

Further makeshift cover has been provided by centre-back Mario Hermoso and winger Yannick Carrasco.

The report does state that Leeds are currently the favourites to sign Galan. But with Sevilla also looking at Galan, they could face a struggle to secure the deal.

Galan the next de Paul?

If Atletico do beat Leeds to Galan, it could be a second target they have stolen from their grasp.

That’s because they are close to completing the €35 signing of Rodrigo de Paul, who has long been admired by Bielsa.

Leeds failed to get a deal done for the Udinese midfielder last summer, but were bracing to go back in for the 27-year-old after the end of the season.

However, it is Madrid and not Yorkshire that appears to be de Paul’s destination. And it could be a further kick in the teeth for Leeds if Galan chooses the same option.

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