Spanish outlet El Gol Digital have claimed that Leeds United will only sign Athletic Bilbao midfielder Ander Iturraspe this summer if the Whites gain promotion to the Premier League.
Bielsa worked with the Spain international during his time as Bilbao manager, the two combining to take Bilbao to the Europa League final in 2011-12 – losing 3-0 to Atletico Madrid.
Iturraspe, 30, was first linked with a move to Marcelo Bielsa’s side earlier in the year. Now, Bilbao have confirmed on their official website that Iturraspe will definitely be leaving the La Liga side.
The latest report claims Leeds face competition in the race to sign Iturraspe, who has only managed five appearances this season for Bilbao. Indeed, Rayo Vallecano are said to be interested in the midfielder.
But the report states that Leeds remain interested in Iturraspe, who has only ever played for Bilbao. But a move to Elland Road depends on whether the Whites win the play-offs and gain promotion to the Premier League.
Iturraspe would be an excellent signing but it is difficult to see where he would fit into Leeds United’s side. In the holding role, Kalvin Phillips has been one of the Whites’ best all season.
Bringing in Iturraspe would be very harsh on the Englishman if Bielsa decided to drop Phillips for the Spaniard. Perhaps a change in tactics may see Bielsa go more defensive and play with two holding midfielders.
Whether Leeds win the play-offs, is an ever bigger question. Two wins this season against Derby will give Leeds optimism, but Frank Lampard’s side are bang in form.