By Craig Scott

20th Sep, 2020 | 9:10am

Phil Hay names big-money player who Leeds are 'More likely' to sign than Rodrigo De Paul

Leeds United are “more likely” to sign Josko Gvardiol from Dinamo Zagreb than Rodrigo De Paul from Udinese at this stage, according to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay.

The former Yorkshire Evening Post reported was asked for an update on the Whites’ pursuit of De Paul, 26, on The Athletic’s website on Saturday.

Hay responded by saying: “No significant movement on that front. Leeds haven’t moved to get it done and it’s been three weeks now since the Rodrigo/Koch deals. They’re not liking Udinese’s asking price of £35m and they seem to be in two minds about whether to go for it. Gvardiol more likely at this stage but still not got the green light either.”

Hay went into a bit more detail about Gvardiol later on in the discussion by adding: “The thing about Gvardiol is that he could be a terrific long term investment. He’s seen as one of the best young centre-backs in Europe. So if he’s up for grabs, this might be the time to get it done. But Bielsa wasn’t interested in another CB beyond Koch/White in the summer and Struijk will have given him confidence last weekend. Ultimately, the club will take their lead from Bielsa when it comes to what happens next. I always remind myself that he doesn’t like a big squad.”

Robin Koch’s performances in the opening two Premier League matches against Liverpool and Fulham will have rung a few alarm bells with the new £13million defender conceding penalties in each game.

As for Liam Cooper, he’s recently been injured so is that something that could come up again this season?

Leeds have conceded a lot of goals in their opening two matches and if they get any more injuries then they could have a massive issue in that area of the squad.

Gvardiol might cost a lot of money with Sky Sports Italy journalist Fabrizio Romano reporting that Leeds have so far offered around £19.9million for the defender while also adding in a 20 per cent sell-on clause.

If he moves to Elland Road for that much, he’d become the second most expensive signing in the club’s history so you can understand why a lot of thought is being put into this potential deal.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites are in talks to sign this French midfielder.