By David Woods

17th Jul, 2020 | 7:36am

Phil Hay claims Leeds in talks with PL side for player with 'eye-catching' attacking talent

Leeds United have held talks with Liverpool over signing left-back Yasser Larouci, who has turned down a new contract with the Premier League champions. 

That was the news that initially came from Athletic journalist James Pearce, who has exceptional contacts within Liverpool.

Pearce wrote: “Algeria-born Larouci, who was signed from Le Havre in 2017, is now set to leave Liverpool this summer after entering the final year of his contract and turning down an extension. The 19-year-old’s agent has informed the club that he wants to move on in search of regular first-team football.

“Discussions have already been held with a number of clubs, including Leeds United and Brentford.”

And the news was ratified by Phil Hay in a Leeds Q&A on Thursday evening as the Whites took one step closer to the Premier League with a win against Barnsley.

Hay confirmed that discussions had been held but said that Leeds are “not sure if they want to meet Liverpool’s valuation.”

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Liverpool’s young players have a real problem getting into Jurgen Klopp’s team.

Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold have the two wing-back roles nailed down and that could see Larouci leave.

On the right flank, Neco Williams is getting the required appearances to get his Premier League winners medal but unless Alexander-Arnold moves to midfield he’s going to find his route into the first-team blocked too.

Larouci is obviously behind the brilliant Williams in his progress but he has already made two senior appearances for Liverpool.

The Daily Star reported that Klopp was giving him the rest of this season to prove he was worthy of the first team but it looks like he’s fallen short.

Let’s not forget, though, how much quality is in this Liverpool squad. And, in the same Star report, Alex Inglethorpe, head of Liverpool’s academy said, “Yasser’s natural ability going forward is eye-catching.”

Valuation seems to be an issue but these are early days with the transfer window not even open yet.

Larouci would surely love a shot at Leeds in the Premier League under Marcelo Bielsa and we need a new left-back, despite the brilliance of Stuart Dallas there this season.

We don’t think this one is over and Larouci is exactly the sort of young player we want to see Leeds build the next-generation squad around.

In other Leeds United news, What a raging Bielsa barked at Leeds staff before bringing Pablo Hernandez off v Barnsley