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Leeds United round-up: New signing reveals Jansson influence; Flint interest fades; Dallas believes promotion possible

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Leeds’ late transfer window arrival Pawel Cibicki has spoken of what inspired him to make a move to Yorkshire, and a key factor in that decision was reportedly his close friend and fan favourite Pontus Jansson. Cibicki told the Yorkshire Evening Post:

“Of course I have my good friend here Pontus Jansson and I have spoken with him and he’s helped me. He tells me it’s very good and he’s going to take care of me here and so on… I am very happy that I can be here at this fantastic club and I know that Leeds have a very good big history, I hope to make a new one when I come here now and I hope to bring Leeds back to the Premier League.”

The 23-year-old scored 11 goals in 57 games for Malmo, adding 10 in 26 in a loan spell at Jonkopings Sodra IF in 2016. The new number 22 has put pen to paper on a four year deal for an undisclosed fee.

However, the club did not splash the cash on Bristol City defender Aden Flint. Somerset Live believe that Leeds were interested in the former Swindon Town man, but were put off by the Robins’ high asking price at £5 million which they refused to lower despite the highest offer on the table being £3.5 million.

The likes of Celtic and Birmingham were also interested in completing the signing of the commanding centre-back, but Leeds reportedly lowered their efforts to bring him to Elland Road in January when they were first quoted such a substantial price.

Another piece of late transfer window business was to get the commitment of winger Stuart Dallas. The Northern Ireland international signed a three year deal to remain at the club, and he expressed his happiness to the Yorkshire Evening Post, saying:

“I’m delighted. Obviously it’s what I wanted and it’s since it’s been offered to me, it was been a no-brainer really for me. It’s where I want to be, I am happy here, my family is happy here and I am just delighted to get it all sorted. Six of us have now signed new contracts and with the work the club has done to bring new players in – we have added real quality as well – so there’s no reason why we can’t mount a challenge at the top this season.”

With a number of key players now committed and some promising signings made late in the transfer window, there are plenty of reasons for fans to be optimistic after a strong start to the season.

Sam is a football journalist focusing on English football at all levels and Spanish football. He also writes for Spain's biggest daily sports newspaper, MARCA, as well as The Boot Room. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

Leeds United

Should Uwe Rosler offer Pawel Cibicki a Leeds United escape route?

The Swedish forward has struggled to make an impact at Leeds United.

Mathew Nash

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Last summer Leeds United beat off plenty of competition to sign Swedish attacker Pawel Cibicki from Malmo. As reported by The Sun the forward cost Leeds a fee in the region of £1.5 million and it seemed a wise deal. Capable of playing anywhere across the front-line the Malmo star was known to current Leeds star Pontus Jansson and looked something of a coup.

That has not been the case.

(Photo credit should read JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

The 24-year-old played just 10 times for Leeds this season and despite impressing some fans, even bagging two assists, he was not given a prolonged chance under either Thomas Christiansen or Paul Heckingbottom.

Therefore, his future seems to be away from Elland Road and perhaps a return to Malmo would be the best option for the player.

If he did so he would be joining up with someone else who knows all about the brittle nature of a Leeds career. Uwe Rosler was recently appointed the new boss at the Swedish powerhouse.

The German lasted just 12 games as Leeds manager before being given the ceremonial axe by ‘manager-eater’ and former chairman Massimo Cellino.

Now he is being tasked with taking Malmo to the next level and fans at the club would love to see Cibicki back at the Swedbank Stadium. It could prove to be a match made in Leeds reject heaven.

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Leeds United

Leeds United should target Marcelo Bielsa teacher’s pet Stephane Sparagna

Leeds United’s new boss was a big fan of Sparagna at Marseille.

Mathew Nash

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Leeds United have completed one of the more eye-catching managerial appointments in Championship history, with the appointment of Argentine legend Marcelo Bielsa before the weekend.

The former Athletic Bilbao and Marseille boss is a cult hero in the sport for his revolutionary tactics and influence on some of the best young managers in the world today.

He also often sees things in certain players that others don’t. He can make a player thrive, who then falls away once he departs. Aurtenetxe at Athletic Bilbao a prime example. From playing in the Europa League final and being on the verge of the Spanish national team, to being released by Dundee.

Another player who fits this bill is French central defender Stephane Sparagna.

(Photo credit should read FRANCISCO LEONG/AFP/Getty Images)

Bielsa plucked him from the reserves back in 2014 just as his Marseille career appeared to be dwindling away. Bielsa quickly turned him into a squad regular and soon Arsenal were snooping. When Bielsa left, Sparagna fell out of favour – with injuries also a contributing factor.

But Bielsa’s influence cannot be understated. Sparagna said so himself, telling Europe1 Sports that the Argentine was the ‘only one who believed in him.’

Nowadays the 23-year-old is impressing in Portuguese football with Boavista but Leeds need a new central defender. They need players Bielsa can trust, especially if a three at the back formation is implemented at Elland Road.

The former French youth international underwent corrective knee surgery in May but is expected back for the new season.

Considering he would be an affordable, trustworthy former Bielsa product in a position that Leeds need reinforcements, Sparagna would be a welcome recruit.

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Why Marcelo Bielsa is unlikely to target Fernando Llorente reunion at Leeds United

The Tottenham Hotspur striker is set to leave but a move to Leeds would appear unlikely.

Mathew Nash

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The appointment of Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds United on Friday has led to some exciting transfer rumours and reports. The Argentine’s close link with Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino soon saw an opinion piece on Juan Foyth become a transfer link in Argentina. Another Spurs player has also been talked about online. Whilst no official interest has been reported many are wondering whether Leeds could swoop for out-of-favour Spurs striker Fernando Llorente.

On the one hand, it makes perfect sense. Bielsa has good links with Spurs, Llorente played under the Argentine at Athletic Bilbao and Leeds desperately need a striker of the Spaniard’s ilk.

‘Make it happen’, Leeds fans might cry.

But whilst rumours and dreams of a deal for the £12.1 million striker may be present, the reality is this is an extremely unlikely move.

First of all, there are his massive wages. That, however, is an issue Leeds could get around.

What they wouldn’t is the relationship between Bielsa and Llorente which is frosty, to say the least.

(Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)

In the summer of 2012, with one year remaining on his contract with Bilbao, the ‘Lion King’ shocked his adoring fans by making his intention to leave the club clear.

Bilbao, always the hardest of bargainers, told him he would have to wait until his contract expired.

What happened next was a series of fall-outs and arguments. In October that year, the striker was banished from the club. As reported by Football Espana, his conduct in training saw Bielsa give him the boot.

When he was brought back into the fold, he could not get a game. Looking beyond, Bielsa played Aritz Aduriz instead.

In December, after Llorente was booed by his own fans, the new Leeds boss told him to ‘get used to it’, as reported by ESPN.

Prior to his contract situation, Llorente spoke only highly of ‘the boss’ but as soon as he got on the wrong side of him there was no coming back.

So whilst Llorente to Leeds may be many people’s dream Bielsa move, it looks highly unlikely considering the combustible nature of the pair’s past.

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