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At £5million, Celtic’s ball-playing defender is perfect for Leeds and Bielsa

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Celtic

At £5million, Celtic’s ball-playing defender is perfect for Leeds and Bielsa

French side Lille OSC are reportedly interested in signing Celtic signing centre-back Jozo Simunovic for £5million, but should Marcelo Bielsa go up against his former side and bring the Croatian ace to Leeds?

Simunovic, 24, has played in both of Celtic’s opening two fixtures this season, starting and finishing the Champions League qualifying wins over Sarajevo. The Hoops have brought in Christopher Jullien from Toulouse.

 

The Scottish Sun claim Lille are looking to spend £5million to land the giant centre-back, and are believed to be in talks with Celtic over a move already. Celtic signed Simunovic for £4million in the summer of 2015.

Over the last four years, Simunovic has clocked up 112 appearances for the Scottish champions and although he has gone through stages of questionable form, he remains one of the club’s best players since 2015.

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Meanwhile, Leeds need a centre-back. The club opted to sell Pontus Jansson in order to comply with Financial Fairplay to Brentford, leaving a gaping hole at the heart of Leeds’ defence.

The Whites brought in Ben White on a season-long loan from Brighton this summer, and he is already gaining rave reviews for his ball-playing approach from centre-back. But he is hardly seen as the long-term replacement.

At £5million, Simunovic would be an excellent signing for Leeds. Though he is a colossus at 6ft 3in, he is more than capable of playing with the ball at his feet – something which he has developed during his time at Celtic.

Bielsa worked as Lille boss between May and November 2017, lasting for just 13 games in charge. He was suspended during his time at the club prior to his sacking, and now he can exact revenge by signing Simunovic.

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