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Report: Leeds signing was thought to be close, but they now face battle for Yosuke Ideguchi's signature

Yosuke Ideguchi of Japan controls the ball to score his side's second goal during the FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Japan and Australia at Saitama Stadium on August 31, 2017 in...

Leeds United reportedly face competition from Sint-Truiden in the race for Yosuke Ideguchi.

Yosuke Ideguchi of Japan controls the ball to score his side's second goal during the FIFA World Cup Qualifier match between Japan and Australia at Saitama Stadium on August 31, 2017 in...

According to Japanese news outlet Sanspo, Belgian side Sint-Truiden are lining up a move for Leeds United target Yosuke Ideguchi, in a bid to win the race for the Gamba Osaka midfielder.

Ideguchi, 21, has emerged as one of the top young talents in Japanese football with Gamba Osaka, having joined the ranks from Aburayama Kameriazu in 2008.

The midfielder has not only starred in the J.League, but also become a Japanese internatioanl, scoring once in three caps for his country as his stock continues to rise.

Yosuke Ideguchi #21 of Gamba Osaka in action during the AFC Champions League Group G match between Gamba Osaka and Melbourne Victory at Suita City Stadium on March 2, 2016 in Osaka, Japan.

In recent weeks, it has been reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post that Leeds are hoping to push through a deal to sign Ideguchi in January, with the move seen as something of a foregone conclusion.

However, Leeds may now face competition for Ideguchi's signature, as Japanese news outlet Sanspo report that Belgian outfit Sint-Truiden are now lining up their own bid to sign the midfielder in 2018.

Japanese company DMM invested in Sint-Truiden over the summer, with the aspiration of bringing Japanese talent to the Belgian club – and Ideguchi is believed to have emerged as their top target.

Yosuke Ideguchi of Japan in action during the FIFA World Cup qualifier match between Saudi Arabia and Japan at the King Abdullah Sports City on September 5, 2017 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

The likes of Yuya Kubo and Ryota Morioka are already playing in Belgium with Gent and Beveren respectively, and they could look to tempt Ideguchi into joining them in the Jupiler Pro League when the transfer window re-opens.

Previously seen as an imminent deal, Ideguchi's move to Leeds may now be in danger, but director of football Victor Orta will be hoping that the size of the club and the prospect of playing in the Premier League can convince Ideguchi to make the move to Elland Road.

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