By Nick Ware

24th Jun, 2021 | 7:10am

Marcelo Bielsa wants Leeds United to sign Hungary international Attila Szalai

Marcelo Bielsa and Victor Orta have prioritised the signing of Fenerbahce defender Attila Szalai for Leeds United this summer, according to Talha Arslan.

The Twitter verified reporter, who works as a Fenerbahce reporter for publications such as Haber365, detailed the news on his personal Twitter profile.

He wrote: “Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds United director of football Victor Orta want to prioritise the transfers of Ben Brereton for the forward line, Javi Galan for the left-back position and Attila Szalai at centre-back.”

Not needed

Arslan reported last week that Orta had sent scouts to watch Hungary play Portugal at Euro 2020, and at MOT Leeds News we suggested Szalai was the man they would be assessing.

His Hungary side put up a spirited performance against the reigning European champions that night [June 15], and were unlucky to lose 3-0 after three goals in the final 10 minutes.

However, the 23-year-old was part of the side that earned a shock 1-1 draw with current World Cup holders France just four days later, helping to shutout the likes of Kylian Mbappe, who had scored 10 goals in his previous 10 matches.

Only Barcelona star Antoine Griezmann was able to find a way past Szallai and co as they put themselves in contention for a place in the knock-out rounds, before exiting the competition on Wednesday despite a heroic 2-2 draw with Germany.

However, despite Szallai being part of a Hungary side that battled against the odds to gain two massive draws, the reality is that we do not need another central defender, and thus we cannot see this move happening.

It would surely take one of our existing options to depart – Liam Cooper is perhaps the most at risk, but would we sell our club captain as we go into our second season back in the Premier League? It would be a risk to lose his leadership and voice in the dressing room, so we’re doubtful a central defender will be targeted at the present time.

In other Leeds United news, Bielsa has opened the door for this ex-Whites man to return to Elland Road