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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.

Brentford

One winner and one loser as Florian Jozefzoon chooses Derby over Leeds

The 27-year-old looks set to sign for the Rams.

Max Cohen

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Jozefzoon
Photo: Getty Images

When Brentford confirmed on Wednesday that the club had accepted a bid for attacker Florian Jozefzoon, it seemed Derby County were the frontrunners.

However, reports of a Leeds United bid added to the transfer drama, before Jozefzoon eventually chose the Rams over Elland Road, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post.

The reported decision would come as a severe blow to Marcelo Bielsa and Leeds United, as the club would miss out on yet another transfer target this summer.

However, Frank Lampard and Derby County will be delighted at another transfer coup, as the allure of the England legend is proving to be a great way of attracting players to Pride Park.

(Photo by Christof Koepsel/Getty Images)

Loser: Leeds fans

Although there are still a number of weeks left in the window, Leeds supporters are right to be worried about the lack of permanent signings.

So far, the club have made just two loan agreements with Lewis Baker and Jamal Blackman of Chelsea. While the two are certainly smart acquisitions, they are not of the quality that will fire Leeds to promotion.

There is still no need to panic, as Marcelo Bielsa will surely attract some top talent as well— but to see their direct Championship rivals beat them to Jozefzoon will be worrying.

Winner: Frank Lampard

The Chelsea legend has done it again. After securing the double loan swoop of promising youngsters Harry Wilson and Mason Mount, Lampard looks set to acquire the services of the former Dutch Under-21 international.

In his first transfer window as a manager, Lampard has done well to convince key targets to join his project at Pride Park, a valuable skill that will serve him well in his coaching career.

Derby now look set to mount a serous promotion challenge; Leeds will have to strengthen further to be able to say the same.

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Leeds United

Leeds United round-up: Heckingbottom on Bielsa backing, Jozefzoon miss and Diagne wages

All the latest news and gossip from Leeds United.

Mathew Nash

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Heckingbottom speaks  

Former boss Paul Heckingbottom has spoken publicly for the first time since departing Leeds United in June. He was let go at the start of June after failing to turnaround Leeds results significantly in a four-month spell.

He told talkSPORT that he suffered from a ‘change of direction’ from the club.

He was replaced by Marcelo Bielsa this summer and hopes the Argentine will get the backing he deserves at the club.


“He should be saying the same things I was saying and hopefully he gets the backing and the support to make changes and give the fans there what they’re crying out for.”


(Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Jozefzoon to Derby

Leeds United will not be signing Florian Jozefzoon this summer. The Dutchman has been linked with a move to Elland Road this summer. Yesterday, it was reported a deal had been agreed between his current club Brentford and an unnamed Championship side.

That team is not Leeds, but Derby County.

As reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, the winger is set to join the Rams for a fee in the region of £2.75 million, despite Leeds showing late interest.

Diagne wage trouble

Leeds have been linked with a move for Kasimpasa striker Mbaye Diagne this week. However, a report today suggests a stumbling block.

Turkish Football suggest he will cost around £3.6 million but that Leeds will struggle to afford his wages as talks get advanced.

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After Instagram hint would Kenneth Omeruo be a great recruit for Leeds United

The Nigerian has been excellent on loan spells and could fit in perfectly at Leeds United.

Mathew Nash

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Earlier this week Leeds United secured the signature of Jamal Blackman on loan for the season. He was the second former Middlesbrough loanee signed from Chelsea this summer, after Lewis Baker arrived earlier in the summer.

Another player with a similar history then appeared to hint he could be next. Kenneth Omeruo commented on Blackman’s Instagram post about the move stating, “wait for me.”

What the Nigerian international meant by the comment is up for debate but, at the moment, there is no sign that Leeds are in fact interested in signing the player.

But should they be?

Omeruo could be a fine addition to the Leeds first-team.

First things first, Leeds are short at the back. Last season proved that another defender is needed at Leeds, even if Kalvin Phillips appears set for a dual midfield-defensive role.

(Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

Omeruo could also be perfect for Leeds’ new system.

It appears Marcelo Bielsa is adopting a fluid formation at Leeds. When in defence they look a solid four. But when in attack, the full-back’s push on and a midfielder drops in, creating a three.

Omeruo showed at the World Cup this summer that he is more than adept at playing in a back-three. Nigeria’s performances improved greatly when he joined William Troost-Ekong and Leon Balogun in triumvirate at the back.

Capable of playing at full-back as well the 40-cap international could be a great recruit for Leeds United this summer.

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