Leeds United’s squad is looking in far greater shape now than it was two weeks ago.
In the last few days, Jack Harrison and Jack Clarke have returned to Elland Road for the 2019/20 season while Helder Costa has arrived on loan from Wolves with a view to a permanent £15 million switch, a fee that would make him Leeds’ most expensive signing since Rio Ferdinand two decades ago (The Sun).
But there are still one or two positions that could do with a bit of investment if The Whites are to go one better and secure a long-awaited return to the Premier League.
They are short at centre-half but maybe not for much longer. The Mail claims that Dan Happe is all-but guaranteed to leave Leyton Orient with one year left on his contract and Leeds are understood to be long-term admirers.
The fact that Happe has been compared to Leicester City’s £80 million-rated Harry Maguire speaks volumes with the 20-year-old combining a commanding, physical style with real quality on the ball and the ability to dictate play from centre-half.
No wonder Marcelo Bielsa likes him.
According to The Mail, Leeds are targeting the new Niko Kovac as well as Brisbane Road’s answer to England’s number six. Ivan Sunjic, captain of Croatia’s U21s, is reportedly a target while Birmingham City have offered £3.5 million.
“I think that Sunjic has already imposed himself as one of the best players in the league,” former Lokomotiva coach Mario Tokic told Sportske. “His game is very smart and he reminds me more and more of Niko Kovac."
High praise indeed. Kovac is one of the greatest Croatian footballers of all time after all, a midfielder with 83 caps who was famed for his excellent passing range and his fierce competitive streak. Kovac even won three trophies as a player for Bayern Munich before returning to the Bavarians last summer as their manager.
So if Sunjic and Happe arrive at Leeds, they’ll come with big expectations on their shoulders.
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