Leeds United have reportedly sent their scouts to run the rule over Stoke City midfielder Ryan Woods.
According to a report from The Sun on Sunday (7/7; page 61), Leeds could make a move for Stoke City midfielder Ryan Woods should they lose Kalvin Phillips to Aston Villa this summer.
Phillips has been heavily linked with a move away from Elland Road during this window. The Sun on Sunday (30/6; page 59) reported last week that Leeds wanted £30 million for the 23-year-old, with the Villans prepared to offer £20 million.
And while the Whites fans will be desperately hoping that the two clubs’ valuations do not edge closer over the coming weeks, it appears that the Championship side are preparing for the academy graduate’s potential departure.
The Sun on Sunday (7/7; page 61) reports that Marcelo Bielsa is interested in Woods, and scouts have been instructed to have a look at the playmaker who endured a difficult first year at Stoke.
The 25-year-old was a prominent member of the team while on loan with the Potters, but edged closer to the periphery of the squad during the second-half of the campaign, so it would be little surprise if Nathan Jones was open to offers for the former Brentford man.
Sky Sports reported that Stoke agreed to pay £7 million for Woods. And while that currently looks like a poor piece of business, there would have been plenty of Championship sides feeling envious that they were not the ones signing the midfielder at the time.
Phillips would leave massive shoes to fill, and the priority absolutely has to be to keep him at all costs. But Woods could be a very good signing if Bielsa is able to get him back to playing like he was at Griffin Park.
Woods is a player capable of dictating play and producing some outstanding passes. He is also extremely combative and able to break up opposition attacks.
So if Leeds are about to lose the Yorkshire Pirlo, perhaps they have stumbled upon a good target with the Shropshire Star noting that the Italy legend had inspired the nickname Shrewsbury Town fans had given Woods during his time with the club.