Marcelo Bielsa’s reign at Leeds United has begun and signings at Elland Road are expected before the start of the new season.
The Whites are yet to sign anyone permanently this summer, instead bringing in Jamal Blackman and Lewis Baker on-loan from Chelsea, but that could change in the final weeks before the 2018-19 campaign begins.
Speculation on Leeds’ planned activity has been rife and there is indications that further additions are on the horizon, while departures from the Championship promotion hopefuls are also on the cards. Here, we have identified five deals that could be concluded this week.
Jordan Hugill – West Ham
After playing just 22 minutes of Premier League football for West Ham following a January switch from Preston, Jordan Hugill has been widely tipped for a return to the second-tier and The Sun has named Leeds as a potential destination.
Any move would likely be on-loan due to his expensive wages but luring Hugill to Leeds could be a difficult task, as he suggested to West Ham’s official website that he is determined to make an impression on new boss Manuel Pellegrini.
However, Football.London understands he will not be a part of Pellegrini’s plans heading into the new campaign and that increases the likelihood of a move.
Caleb Ekuban to leave
Leeds United took a major risk in the market last summer by signing Ghana striker Caleb Ekuban from Chievo after his breakthrough campaign on-loan with Albanian side FK Partizani and he has failed to make an impact.
The 24-year-old forward scored just one goal in 20 Championship appearances with the Whites last term and is understood to be surplus to requirements in the mind of Bielsa, the Yorkshire Evening Post has reported.
GhanaSoccer has claimed FK Partizani are keen on re-signing the striker, who scored 17 goals in 34 appearances during the 2016/17 campaign, and Leeds are unlikely to stand in the way of an exit.
Tom Hamer – Oldham Athletic
Leeds have long been regarded as a hotbed for young talent and has helped some of the best to develop at Elland Road, including a number of England’s World Cup squad, and Bielsa looks intent on building on that belief.
The Sun on Sunday (22/07, page 58) claims Leeds are readying a bid for 18-year-old Oldham Athletic defender Tom Hamer after his breakthrough campaign in the third-tier last season, where he excelled despite the Owls’ relegation to League Two.
An initial bid of £200k is being touted, with the Whites set to include more in bonuses, but Leeds face a challenge to secure his signature as it is stated a number of Premier League clubs are sniffing around.
Eunan O’Kane to leave
Eunan O’Kane was a frustrating player for many at Elland Road last season and, despite a number of poor performances, retained his spot in the starting line-up; although it appears that will not be the case under Bielsa.
The Yorkshire Evening Post states that O’Kane has been deemed as not good enough by the new Leeds manager and is now set for a departure from the Yorkshire giants – although they do not mentioned any suitors for the 28-year-old.
“It’s a really impressive club and it’s moving in the right direction.”
Phil Foden – Manchester City
Widely-regarded to be one of the finest young prospects within English football, Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola rates Phil Foden extremely highly and seemed to be initially against a departure for the teenager on-loan.
However, LeedsLive claims the door has been opened for Marcelo Bielsa to take advantage of his relationship with Guardiola after comments from the Citizens’ boss suggested Foden, alongside Ibrahim Diaz, could be sent on-loan for the forthcoming campaign.
18-year-old Foden made five Premier League appearances during Manchester City’s title-winning success last term and made his debut for the England U19 side earlier this year, after winning the U17 World Cup with the Three Lions in 2017.