Leeds United are stepping up their summer transfer push and have held talks with five potential signings.
Recruitment chief Victor Orta is leading the strategy as the Whites look to add to their squad strength in a bid to improve Marcelo Bielsa’s squad ahead of the new campaign.
Bielsa’s side were one of the success stories of the 2020-21 campaign, finishing ninth in their first season back in the Premier League.
The aim is for long-term sustained growth and improvement at Elland Road, and a potential challenge on one of the European qualification spots over the next couple of years.
Writing in NationalWorld’s sister title the Yorkshire Evening Post, Graham Smyth revealed that director of football Orta is holding talks with agents and representatives of five players – and that Leeds spoke to a left-back last weekend who could become their first summer acquisition.
Smyth said: “Orta and his team monitor many, many players. They enquire about many players – he’s talking to five right now in the hope of bringing three of them to Elland Road this summer.
"Some of the calls they make will be about players who could be alternative, back-up plans if the priority signings fall through and some are not a realistic target for right now, but it’s worth checking in and registering even just a hint of interest.”
Who is the left-back Leeds are speaking to?
Leeds have been linked with a host of players over the last couple of weeks. One is Romain Perraud, the Stade Brest defender, though the French club are believed to want in excess of £15million for the 23-year-old.
Another left-back mooted is 21-year-old Holland international Owen Wijndal, however, the YEP reports that neither he nor Perraud were the player in conversation with Orta at the weekend.
Javi Galan is another new name linked with a move to Elland Road. The attacking left-back has impressed in La Liga with Huesca and has a release clause of just £3.5million and a contract that has just 12 months left to run on it.
Benfica star Alex Grimaldo is also a potential target though he is not believed to be high on Orta’s hitlist.
Ajax left-back Nicolas Tagliafico has been heavily linked in recent weeks but sources close to the player claim there have been no talks.
Then there is highly-rated Hibernian youngster Josh Doig, who has attracted attention from the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal. A swift move could prevent a bidding war for the 19-year-old who was named Scottish Football Writers Association's Young Player of the Year.
Will Gjanni Alioski stay at Leeds?
The hunt for a new left-back is part down to the fact that Gjanni Alioski is out of contract.
Leeds are keen to keep the North Macedonian international at Elland Road, and Orta held talks with the player over a new deal last week.
The 29-year-old is weighing up his options, and is a strong position. He knows that he could potentially get one more lucrative contract elsewhere, and had been reported to have signed a pre-contract with Turkish side Galatasary.
Regardless of whether Alioski stays, though, Leeds will still look to bring in a left-back.