It’s no secret that Leeds United are crying out for a new centre-half. In truth, The Whites were relatively short of options at the heart of their defence last season and that was before Kyle Bartley returned to Swansea City upon the expiry of his loan spell.
So far, only 22-year-old Matthew Pennington has arrived on a temporary deal from Everton, with Pontus Jansson and the unconvincing Liam Cooper the only senior centre-backs at the disposal of new Leeds coach Thomas Christiansen.
Corriere di Bologna linked Leeds with a move for highly-rated Bologna defender Filip Helander, a two-time Swedish international who could form a promising partnership with compatriot Jansson. The report adds that Leeds would need to increase their initial bid of £3.6 million, lodged last June, but the Championship side remain keen.
However, reports in Irish publication Balls.Ie claiming The Whites are now the favourites to land Bournemouth’s forgotten man Marc Wilson may raise concerns. Cherries boss Eddie Howe has made clear that the 29-year-old will be allowed to leave the Vitality Stadium after failing to make a single league appearance since moving from Stoke City last summer.
On paper, the signing of Wilson, ahead of Premier League opposition in West Brom, where he spent the second half of last season on loan, would look an impressive coup. Wilson has also won 25 caps for the Republic of Ireland and has made almost 200 Premier League appearances.
However, he is far from the natural-born centre-back that Leeds fans would have hoped for. A versatile performer, Wilson has never quite nailed down a first-choice role at any of his clubs, flitting between full-back, centre-half and defensive midfield.
Though he would offer Christiansen plenty of options, it would be difficult to argue that Wilson would be an upgrade on Bartley, or even a signing of similar quality.
Leeds need a natural, instinctive centre-back and the versatile Wilson is hardly a name that jumps off the page.