Report: UCL star ‘strong candidate’ to replace out-of-contract Leeds ace; would suit ‘Bielsa’s style’
Leeds United have reportedly identified FC Barcelona left-back Junior Firpo as a ‘strong candidate’ to replace Gjanni Alioski.
According to the Yorkshire Evening Post, the former Spain U-21 defender is a potential option to take up the left-back spot for next season. Alioski’s contract with Leeds expires this week, and Firpo is a target for the club.
As per the report, the club believes Firpo is an excellent option to replace the North Macedonian defender this summer. The Barcelona star is considered a player who ‘would suit Marcelo Bielsa’s style of football’.
Leeds face competition
Bielsa’s side face competition for Firpo, however. As per the report, Serie A side Napoli are also interested in the 24-year-old defender.
The Italian club could have the advantage over Leeds given the fact they will be competing in Europe next season in the form of the UEFA Europa League. Firpo played regularly for Barcelona in the UEFA Champions League last season.
As reported by Mundo Deportivo, West Ham and Southampton are keen on the Dominican Republic-born defender. AC Milan and Fiorentina are also eager on Firpo.
Furthermore, if Leeds are to win the race for Firpo, who is keen to leave Spain for good this summer, they will have to beat some of Europe’s biggest hitters to claim the signature of the Barcelona defender.
Firpo signing will be huge mark of intent from Leeds
With Alioski likely to leave the club next week, a new left-back will be a major demand for Leeds this summer. And in Firpo, they can have the perfect replacement for the Elland Road fan favourite.
The Spanish fullback is accomplished in both left-back and further up the pitch in midfield. Indeed, Firpo made a name for himself at Real Betis as a wing-back in a 3-5-2 formation. And whilst Leeds play a four-at-the-back, this versatility will be a big selling point for Bielsa.
Moreover, with Mundo Deportivo claiming that Firpo wants to leave Spain this transfer window, Leeds could be an attractive option for the defender. Who will likely play regular first-team football for the Whites should he arrive this summer.
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