By Craig Scott

16th Sep, 2020 | 11:27am

Phil Hay: Leeds have budget to fund swoop for one of the best prospects in Europe

The Athletic’s Phil Hay has dubbed Josko Gvardiol as one of the best young prospects in Europe as Leeds United bid to sign the Dinamo Zagreb defender.

Writing on The Athletic website, the ex-Yorkshire Evening Post journalist said that Leeds are “seriously interested” in the 18-year-old centre-back and have the budget to be able to fund a move for him.

It is understood that Dinamo value the Croatia Under-21 international at £20million.

Hay adds that Gvardiol “could be an astute, long-term investment” for Leeds but goes on to say that the Whites are yet to show whether or not they will push to sign another new centre-back.

Since the end of last season, Leeds have lost Ben White and Gaetano Berardi in different circumstances as White went back to Brighton when his loan ended and Berardi’s contract expired just after suffering a serious knee injury.

While Berardi has recently confirmed that he expects Leeds to offer him a new deal, it could be a long time before he’s back to full fitness and available to play for Marcelo Bielsa in the Premier League.

Two centre-backs have gone but Leeds have brought in Robin Koch for £13million and Bielsa has promoted Pascal Struijk to his first-team squad.

While Struijk is inexperienced, Gvardiol is too with the 18-year-old playing just 14 times in all competitions for Dinamo’s senior squad.

But the teenager can also play at left-back and the £20million it might take to sign him could see Leeds sign a player who can fill in two positions.

Unless Bielsa really feels he needs Gvardiol, we don’t think that a move will be made for him.

But, as mentioned, he’s a very highly-rated young player who can play in two positions and could have great resale value.

In other Leeds United news, a Serie A expert has shared a worrying update on Rodrigo De Paul