By George Overhill

30th Jun, 2022 | 3:10pm

Leeds United interested in Bayern Munich defender Chris Richards

Leeds United are one of a number of teams interested in signing Bayern Munich defender Chris Richards this summer, 90min reports.

The USMNT player is attracting clubs from England, Germany and France, after spending last season on loan at Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga.

The German side are one of the interested parties, along with Lyon in Ligue 1, while the Premier League contingent consists of Brighton and Southampton as well as United.

A source told 90min that all three English sides are watching the 22-year-old American, with the Saints apparently “most impressed”.

Capped six times for his national team, Richards is reportedly eager to secure regular first-team football in order to cement his place ahead of the World Cup in the winter.

He has three years remaining on his contract at the Allianz Arena but has so far only made 10 senior appearances for the Bavarian giants, while he has racked up a total of 34 in all competitions across two temporary spells at Hoffenheim.

Americana

If an American player is on the move at the moment then it’s safe to say the Whites will be sniffing around.

With the 49ers investment, Jesse Marsch in as head coach, and the summer transfer window kicked off with the signing of Brenden Aaronson, there is a distinct US element at Elland Road.

Marsch has spoken about some of the hurdles that has thrown up for him but if it helps the club’s chances in picking up some of these transfer targets then nobody will be complaining.

The focus on defensive strengthening has been on the full-back positions in light of the injuries to Stuart Dallas and Luke Ayling, and the struggles of Junior Firpo, and Rasmus Kristensen has so far arrived in that department.

But the centre of the back line was a liability at times during the 2021/22 season, particularly when captain Liam Cooper wasn’t there to organise.

Diego Llorente looked a completely different player depending on whether he was alongside his skipper or not, and Robin Koch was frequently deployed in midfield.

Pascal Struijk was another who was pressed into action in various positions so while there are a number of names who can fill the central roles the squad doesn’t look like it has the kind of entrenched centre-backs that are the bedrock of successful Premier League teams.

Richards looks to be on the up, and the club have already turned to Bayern to pick up a talented but underused player in midfielder Marc Roca.

One cause for concern might be that he missed two significant chunks late in the recently-completed season with a pair of injuries, which the Whites have had enough of their own problems with, but this looks like one to keep an eye on.

In other Leeds United news, one defensive option looks set to play elsewhere next season with a new club joining the race to take him.