By Craig Scott

16th Mar, 2020 | 8:00pm

MOT View: Leeds might have to pay £10m to land English defender reportedly wanted by Bielsa

It could cost Leeds United £10million to sign Ipswich defender Luke Woolfender based on what Paul Lambert said about the centre-back in January.

According to reliable Ipswich news site TWTD, the 21-year-old has emerged on the radar of Marcelo Bielsa as Leeds mull over additions to the squad in the summer transfer window.

While the current season hangs in the balance due to the coronavirus-enforced suspension of elite-level football in England, it still hasn’t stopped the Whites from eyeing up potential targets for when the transfer window re-opens.

Leeds might need to add to their defensive ranks ahead of next season – whenever that might be – with Gaetano Berardi’s contract due to expire in June and Ben White’s loan deal coming to an end when the season does.

Woolfenden could be seen as a replacement for Bielsa – but a deal is set to be costly.

The Sun reported in January that Sheffield United were ready to make a £3million bid for Woolfenden but, based on Lambert’s reaction to that report, it would take more than three times that amount to lure the centre-back away from Portman Road.

“The way the modern game is? Absolutely, absolutely,” Lambert said, as quoted by the East Anglian Daily Times in January when asked if Woolfenden is worth £10million.

“Potentially what he could be, 100 per cent he is. The level of money and the way the game’s going, I see players move for money they shouldn’t be anywhere near.”

Woolfenden is clearly highly-rated at Ipswich.

He was born in the Suffolk town, came through the Blues’ academy and has been a regular feature in their first-team this season, appearing 36 times across all competitions.

Even some Ipswich fans on Twitter have made it clear how much they would hate to see the club sell the former Bromley and Swindon loanee.

Leeds may have to spend a big sum of money on Woolfenden but if they can secure promotion to the Premier League, snapping up a 21-year-old English defender who already has plenty of experience could be a good piece of business at £10million.

In other Leeds United news, the club have held a meeting about making this player’s loan deal into a permanent one amid the current coronavirus concern.