Leeds United may face a battle to keep Pascal Struijk in the coming months, with Dutch outlet De Telegraaf reporting that Leicester City and Napoli want the centre-back.
Struijk has been a revelation for the Whites this season. He may have gone into the campaign expecting to struggle for game-time, with Leeds ultimately signing both Robin Koch and Diego Llorente before the summer window shut.
However, he was handed his first league start at centre-back for the club on the opening day. And it was a baptism of fire with Leeds tasked with travelling to Anfield to face the champions.
The 21-year-old goes into Tuesday’s clash with Southampton having now made 15 Premier League appearances. And his form of late has been particularly impressive.
Unfortunately for Leeds, it appears that his displays are not escaping attention. According to De Telegraaf, both Leicester and Napoli are admirers. It is suggested that the latter, at least, may have already made enquiries.
It is not clear whether either plan to make a bid this summer or in a future window. And Marcelo Bielsa’s side will surely have little interest in selling.
But the links may still concern some hoping to see Struijk – who earns £7,150-a-week, according to Spotrac – stay for some time yet.
TBR View: Links highlight Struijk’s meteoric rise
This time last year, Struijk’s most recent appearance had come in the dramatic collapse against Cardiff when promotion-chasing Leeds threw away a 3-0 lead.
In fact, the former Ajax trainee would wait around seven months for his next first-team appearance. But since coming on amidst the chaos in what would prove to be a 1-0 win over Barnsley, Struijk has been outstanding.
He has been colossal at times, including in the recent win over the Foxes.
Leeds would rather there was no speculation surrounding Struijk’s future. But the links do help highlight just how far he has come over the last 12 months.