Leeds and West Brom can reportedly sign Eastern European ace for £4m

West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic (left) exchanges words with Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and West Bromwich...

HKN Rijeka's Ivan Lepinjica is reportedly a target for Championship rivals Leeds United and West Brom, plus Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur.

West Bromwich Albion manager Slaven Bilic (left) exchanges words with Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa during the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and West Bromwich...

Leeds United and West Bromwich Albion will have to part with £4 million to sign Ivan Lepinjica from HNK Rijeca, according to 24 Sata.

If it’s a technically gifted playmaker you want, then there are worse places to go than the Croatian top flight. Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, Nikola Vlasic and Marcelo Brozovic have all made their name in the land of dalmatians and gingerbread – and the early signs suggest that Lepinjica could follow in their footsteps.

 

Championship title rivals Leeds and West Brom are both interested in the 20-year-old, according to T Portal. Lepinjica has admirers in the Premier League too, in the shape of Jose Mourinho’s Tottenham and Frank Lampard’s Chelsea.

Now, £4 million would be a pocket change fee for the London giants but, where Leeds and West Brom are concerned, that is quite a substantial sum to invest in a little-known youngster who has made less than 50 first-team appearances.

A general view of the Billy Bremner statue outside Elland Road during the Pre Season Friendly match between Leeds United and Everton at Elland Road on August 1, 2015 in Leeds, England.

24 Sata claim that Lepinjica’s departure is ‘easily possible’ this month, though we are no closer to finding out where he will end up.

A move to Leeds would potentially see the Croatia U21 international be utilised as a back-up option to Kalvin Phillips, Marcelo Bielsa’s very own ‘Yorkshire Pirlo’.

Like Phillips, Lepinjica is a deep-lying playmaker with an excellent passing range who can slot in at centre-half if required. West Brom, a team who tend to dominate possession these days under Slaven Bilic, might also look to mould Lepinjica into Gareth Barry’s long-term successor at the Hawthorns.

Kalvin Phillips of Leeds United goes past Matteo Guendouzi and Mesut Ozil of Arsenal during the FA Cup Third Round match between Arsenal and Leeds United at Emirates Stadium on January 6,...

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