Leeds United chiefs were in Zagreb a few days ago to hold talks with Dinamo Zagreb about a deal for centre-back Josko Gvardiol, according to Jutarnji List.
The Croatian newspaper reports on their website that Leeds thought they would be arriving back in the UK with the 18-year-old on board but it is understood the emissaries returned to Yorkshire empty-handed.
Sky Sports Italy journalist Gianluca Di Marzio has reported on his website that Leeds have offered £19.9million for Gvardiol, plus a 20 per cent sell-on fee while RB Leipzig have offered just £13.5million.
However Jutarnji List reports that although Leeds have offered more money to Dinamo, it does not mean they are in pole position to sign the Croatia Under-21 international.
The report says that RB Leipzig’s model is “more acceptable” to Gvardiol while the German club’s guaranteed Champions League and Bundesliga status is also noted as an advantage for them in comparison to Leeds being a newly-promoted Premier League side.
Being able to spend all this money is not something Leeds fans are used to after 16 years outside of the Premier League and it might come as a stark reminder to some supporters that money isn’t everything.
You cannot argue too much with Gvardiol’s reasons.
You might say that Leeds are a more historic club who have some of the most passionate supporters in the world and are managed by one of the best coaches in the world.
Leipzig don’t have that. But over the last few years they have gained a reputation for developing young players and giving them regular game-time in both the Bundesliga and in Europe’s top competitions.
Gvardiol’s only 18 and is only just breaking into the Dinamo team so this is a crucial point of his career.
It will be interesting to see whether Dinamo accept the higher offer or really consider what their young rising star wants.
In other Leeds United news, Kalvin Phillips was slammed for his display for England on Tuesday night.