By George Overhill

31st May, 2023 | 6:40pm

Leeds United transfer news: Fee verdict emerges as Robin Koch heads for 'certain departure' after Elland Road relegation

Robin Koch looks to be a “certain departure” from Leeds United this summer following relegation from the Premier League, according to Graham Smyth.

The German defender missed only two top flight matches all season as he remained one of the few constants in an ever-changing line-up at the back for the Whites – a defence which conceded a league-worst 78 times.

Despite that record the 26-year-old is not expected to remain at Elland Road in the second tier, but although he only has a year left on his contract he could still bring in a reasonable transfer fee.

Writing for the Yorkshire Evening Post Smyth said of the former SC Freiberg man: “His Germany dream will likely dictate what happens this summer. Looks like a certain departure at this stage.

“Hasn’t been so good that Leeds should promise the earth to keep him, hasn’t been so bad that teams won’t want him. Could recoup the fee they paid for him, at the very least.”

Time’s up

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Koch is clearly a far more talented football player than the average 26-year-old but while the likes of Diego Llorente and Liam Cooper have come in for criticism over the past two seasons the German has maintained a decent reputation by comparison despite playing a central role in the same failings.

He has been at fault for his own fair share of calamities in the Leeds United defence, and if he holds decent transfer value it would make sense to cash in now while the club still can.

Who will be making that decision is as-yet unclear, with Angus Kinnear apparently left holding the fort at Elland Road while Andrea Radrizzani flies between Italy and the US.

The chairman’s purchase of Sampdoria has now been agreed but there is still no corresponding deal to sell the Whites, so the manager-less, sporting director-less, club hobble into what promises to be a summer of upheaval without clear direction.

Plenty of players will leave as a matter of course after failing to beat the drop, either because they have relegation-release clauses in their deals, or because the time has come for a parting of the ways regardless, and Koch feels like he falls into the latter camp.

On his day he is a good squad option, and his versatility was shown by another late-season stint in central midfield, but his place as the main man in what proved to be a woeful Leeds United defence suggests a departure makes sense ahead of a rebuild.

In other Leeds United news, Kinnear and the 49ers are already at work together looking to about a 48-year-old to the club according to Sky Sports.