By Mark Smith

8th Sep, 2020 | 2:10pm

Leeds enquire over availability of 25y/o midfielder, club considering options - report

Leeds United have contacted Sporting CP over the availability of midfielder Joao Palhinha, according to A Bola.

The Portuguese outlet have reported on their website that the Whites are trying to understand his future ahead of a potential move.

The Whites are still in negotiations with Udinese over Rodrigo de Paul, with their midfield a clear area they would like strengthening at Elland Road.

It is suggested that the possibility of leaving for the 25-year-old has still not been ruled out by the Portuguese side, who are considering their options.

Wolves and CSKA Moscow have both been previously interested, with Sporting even rejecting a serious proposal from the Russians for Palhinha.

Palhinha has spent the last two seasons at Braga, with Sporting not finding a spot for him in their own squad during that time.

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That could mean that Palhinha has no future at the Jose Alvalade Stadium, and could leave Leeds free to make a relatively cheap move for his services.

What type of player would Leeds be getting?

Palhinha is more of a defensive midfielder compared to de Paul and could be possibly seen as a rotation option for Kalvin Phillips rather than pushing forward a defender yet again.

The only problem is, the 25-year-old would likely want a starting spot, given that he was playing frequent European football with Braga – making seven appearances in the Europa League last season.

Defensively, his stats aren’t the best either. Palhinha only wins 60.5% of his defensive duels, 48.5% loose balls as well as only 61.4% of his aerial duels according to WyScout.

Phillips is significantly better in two of those and is guaranteed to start under Marcelo Bielsa, so this move seems unnecessary.

Add into that the return to fitness of Adam Forshaw in the near future, and Leeds may not need to bring in another holding midfielder.

In other Leeds United news, Stan Collymore singles out the Whites in Premier League prediction for the 20/21 season

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