Leeds, West Brom join race for in-demand Croatian starlet

Date published: Wednesday 8th January 2020 12:12

Championship front-runners Leeds and West Brom have set their sights on highly-rated Croatian midfielder Ivan Lepinjica, according to reports.

The defensive midfielder has featured 17 times this season in all competitions for Croatian top-tier club HNK Rijeka and is regarded as one of Croatia’s biggest young talents.

The Championship high-fliers will have to part with £4m if they are to sign the starlet, according to HITC (via 24 Sata).

They also face competition from London giants Chelsea and Tottenham, who are reported to be interested in gaining the youngster’s signature.

Frank Lampard has put in an offer between €3m to €4m, but the Croatian outfit have said they won’t allow the player to leave for less than €5m, according to Tportal.

According to 24 Sata, Lepinjica’s departure is ‘very possible’ this month, however his destination remains uncertain.

The Croatian Under-21 international is a holding midfielder who is know for his hard tackling and excellent passing ability, who can comfortably slot into the centre-back position when required.

 

Leeds boss Marco Bielsa could look to utilise the Croatian u21 as backup for Kalvin Phillips, whilst Slaven Bilic will see Lepinjica as a potential long-term replacement for 38-year-old Gareth Barry.

Lepinjica’s contract is set to expire at the end of June 2024.

Meanwhile, Leeds have received an answer on their bid for Liverpool starlet.

 

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