Huddersfield Town boss Carlos Corberan was thrilled to keep Lewis O’Brien after Premier League Leeds United refused to meet the Terriers’ £8 million asking price, speaking to Yorkshire Live.
Corberan would do anything for his old mentor. Well, apart from sell his most influential midfielder, that is.
Marcelo Bielsa was hoping for a favour from his Elland Road protégé this summer when Leeds came calling for O’Brien.
And, for a while at least, it seemed only a matter of time before the tough-tackling 22-year-old was making the short trip across Yorkshire.
According to The Sun (8 August, page 67), O’Brien was keen on the idea of swapping Huddersfield for their western rivals.
But with Leeds refusing to fork over £8 million – that was double what the top-flight giants were willing to pay – the transfer deadline came and went on Tuesday night without so much as a bead of sweat appearing on Corberan’s forehead (Athletic).
Can Robin Koch do what Leeds wanted from Lewis O’Brien?
“I only can tell you that I know our club made a lot of effort to keep O’Brien,” says Corberan, who coached Leeds’ U23 side before being handed his senior managerial break at the John Smith’s Stadium.
“And I always appreciate this because for me O’Brien is one of our very, very, very, very important players.”
You get the idea. Corberan is a big fan of the Colchester-born ankle-nibbler.
An £11 million bid was rejected for Sweden international Jens Cajuste while Conor Gallagher, now on loan at Crystal Palace, preferred the home comforts of London town.
That leaves Leeds looking worryingly reliant on injury-prone Adam Forshaw – two years since his most recent league appearance – with Robin Koch doing little to prove that he can be relied upon to play that most-demanding of number six roles during the 5-1 opening-day hammering at Manchester United.