By Craig Scott

11th Aug, 2022 | 7:10am

Leeds United in hot pursuit of MLS left-back Kai Wagner as Jesse Marsch friendship reveal emerges

Leeds United are one of a number of clubs in the hunt to sign Philadelphia Union left-back Kai Wagner this summer, according to Manuel Veth.

Writing via his personal Twitter account on Wednesday night (10 August), the Forbes journalist reported that Benfica and Dinamo Zagreb are also interested in signing the 25-year-old German.

Veth adds that “this is a decisive summer” for Wagner, who has been in good form for Brenden Aaronson’s former club Philadelphia in the current 2022 MLS season.

More American influence?

Since the 49ers increased their shareholding at Leeds to 44 per cent, the Yorkshire club has hired Jesse Marsch as manager and signed two USA internationals in Aaronson and Tyler Adams.

While Wagner isn’t American, he’s been playing in the States for three years after joining Philadelphia Union from Wurzbuerger Kickers in 2019.

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The former Schalke and Augsburg left-back has been in stunning form in the MLS, especially this season, and he’s been named to play for the MLS All-Stars in their upcoming All-Star showdown versus the Liga MX All-Stars.

Wagner has assisted five goals in 24 MLS appearances this season, playing every minute of every one of Philadelphia’s games, of which they’ve lost just three.

Leeds definitely need to add to their left-back options before the summer transfer window closes in less than three weeks’ time and the Whites may have an ace up their sleeve when it comes to talks.

According to a report by the Philadelphia Inquirer on 23 July, Marsch is a “close friend” of Philadelphia Union’s manager Jim Curtin, who says that he’s braced for interest in Wagner before the transfer window closes in Europe.

He said: “We’ll see what happens — we’re prepared either way.

“If he does go, Matt Real has been excellent for us as well in training every day, has gotten some Union II minutes, and you obviously have Anton behind Matt.

“If the money’s right, I think [Union’s sporting director] Ernst [Tanner] would obviously entertain it.”

There we have it. Wagner is up for grabs if a decent offer is made.

Leeds need a left-back, they have a manager who knows the MLS, Marsch is a friend of Wagner’s manager and Philadelphia could be open to a sale.

It’s all adding up, isn’t it?

In other Leeds United news, Fabrizio Romano has named the winner in Leeds’ race to sign this new player with a medical now “pending”.