By Craig Scott

12th Jun, 2022 | 8:02am

Florian Grillitsch rejects new Hoffenheim contract amid Leeds United transfer pursuit

Fiorentina are in pole position to beat Leeds United to the signing of Austrian midfielder Florian Grillitsch, according to Die Presse Am Sonntag.

The Austrian newspaper reported via their print edition on 12 June (page 27) that Grillitsch, 26, has rejected a new contract offer from German club Hoffenheim and will become a free agent at the end of the month.

The newspaper claims that Arsenal, Everton, Leeds and Lazio are all in pursuit of the Austria international but Fiorentina haver reportedly reached a verbal agreed on a four-year contract worth £32,000-a-week.

No chance

It doesn’t look as though Leeds will be able to win this transfer battle.

Grillitsch seems to have a lot of admirers and when a player in their 20s becomes available on a free transfer, it’s always hard to swoop in and beat your rivals – even though the Austrian shares agents with Patrick Bamford, Luke Ayling and Daniel James.

Leeds had a lot of competition in this case and while Fiorentina aren’t the biggest club keen on Grillitsch, it’s them who look set to win the race with personal terms verbally agreed.

Grillitsch played just 18 times in the 2021/22 Bundesliga season due to numerous injury and illness issues.

In those 18 games, he was also booked seven times.

He’s a defensive midfielder who can drop back into the defence and has 33 caps for Austria.

It’s likely that the soon-to-be free agent has been eyed up by Leeds as a back-up or even a replacement for Kalvin Phillips but Victor Orta will surely have to turn his attention elsewhere now with the ex-Werder Bremen ace headed for Italy.

It’s still early days in the transfer window but Leeds need to be move fast if they want to sign any free agents because it won’t be long before all the good ones are taken.

In other Leeds United news, an £80million transfer blizzard has been predicted by the Yorkshire Evening Post with another new deal on the way to being completed.