Athletic journalist Phil Hay has his finger firmly on the pulse at Leeds United and he believes that the club will bring in five transfers this summer.
That would see the squad strengthening in a very similar way to last summer, when Leeds brought in Rodrigo, Raphinha, Robin Koch and Diego Llorente.
On the latest episode of the Phil Hay Show, host Dan Moylan said, “That figure of five… you seem fairly certain around that number, can’t ask you to give up your sources but can you explain why we’ll get up to five?”
“We will address the midfield, I’ve heard it said a couple of times that they will look to do something in the Phillips position, someone young,” Hay said.
“With Phillips there, there’s no point trying to sign an elite defensive midfielder as with Phillips fit they’re not going to play.
“But it’s become more and more apparent the pressure on Mateusz Klich this season. He’s been playing with a hip injury. That’s an area they’re likely to bolster too.
“If Berardi goes they might feel they need a little more there. They will certainly go for a left-back and that will be even more important if Alioski goes.”
Asked if they will sign a keeper, Hay said, “It depends on Casilla going and the problem there is that, apart from the fact that Bielsa likes him, he’s on big wages.”
Soumare an interesting option
There hasn’t been a huge amount of names linked with the holding midfield spot yet but one that is interesting is Boubakary Soumare.
The Lille midfielder is a France Under-21 international and can play in the Phillips or the Klich position.
At just 21 years of age, he fits the Leeds profile and is a player who might find the prospect of working under Marcelo Bielsa hugely attractive.
He’ll be very aware of what Bielsa has done for Phillips and this could be the perfect time in his career to make the move.
He wouldn’t be cheap. Lille are looking for £30m for the player so it will all come down to what value Bielsa puts on him.
To get proper, quality cover for that position, though, Leeds shouldn’t be afraid to spend.
It’s been the biggest problem in our first season back in the Premier League and £30m would be cheap if it does solve the issue for good.
The other possibility is Ben White, who has played in the Phillips position before and has spent much of this season in midfield for Brighton.
He would be even more expensive – and that’s if Brighton change their stance on the player and Leeds and agree to do business.
In other Leeds United news, After Bielsa update, Phil Hay claims another Leeds first-teamer injured and out of clash v Villa