By Craig Scott

25th Aug, 2022 | 8:10am

Kai Wagner to Leeds United transfer looks increasingly unlikely as January switch now mooted by Tom Bogert

MLS journalist Tom Bogert doesn’t expect Kai Wagner to join Leeds United from Philadelphia Union this summer but admits it’s something that could happen in the winter.

Leeds have been linked with German left-back Wagner, 25, for the last few weeks with centre-back Pascal Struijk currently filling in the left-back role for Jesse Marsch due to injuries to Junior Firpo and Stuart Dallas.

However, Bogert doesn’t see a move for Wagner materialising soon.

While the American journalist admits things can evolve in the coming days, it does seem increasingly linked that Wagner will be staying put in Pennsylvania.

Writing on the MLS Soccer website, Bogert said: “With a week left in the transfer window, with what we know right now, I’ve shifted to not expecting Wagner to be moved. Things can always change – please note that before screenshotting this to make fun of me if things do change – but at this stage, it’s looking much more likely than, say, a couple of months ago that Wagner remains a Union player through the season.

“What do we know right now? Well, there remains a bunch of teams interested, but, per sources, the Union are still yet to receive a concrete bid for Wagner from Leeds United or anyone else. Interest doesn’t always turn to offers.

“In a perfect world? Perhaps the Union could sort a deal in which a transfer for Wagner to Europe is agreed upon for the winter, preserving the current squad at full strength for the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs while also securing the bag for his transfer + Wagner having his own future secured. But who knows what’ll happen, if anything. Maybe the club and player revisit this again in the winter. Playing every minute for one of the best teams in MLS isn’t exactly a bad alternative.

“Wagner is the biggest name to potentially be transferred in terms of impact on the MLS Cup/playoffs race, but he isn’t the only one with suitors abroad.”

Not happening

If Leeds were going to sign Wagner, it probably would have happened already or we would have at least seen some progress with an offer being made.

Philadelphia are going very strong in the MLS this season.

As it stands, the Union are top of the Eastern Conference having won 14 of their 27 league games in 2022.

Wagner has played in all of them, assisting five goals in the process and even earning a call-up to the MLS All-Stars team, who beat the Mexican All-Stars earlier this month.

Wagner is a huge asset for Philadelphia, who have won by six or more goals three times in the last month and a half.

They cannot stop scoring and their attack-minded German left-back is a key player in that due to the way he loves to burst forward and get involved in the offensive play.

You can see why Jesse Marsch would want him and the links to Philadelphia are strong as Marsch knows their manager Jim Curtin and it’s Brenden Aaronson’s former club. Aaronson’s younger brother Paxten plays for them currently too.

But as for signing Wagner in the final week of the summer transfer window, it’s unlikely.

Leeds do need a left-back though with Firpo’s injury record and performances not being very good in his time at Elland Road.

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