Good Morning. It's Monday 19th July, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
Bielsa selection dilemma at centre back
Pre season is well underway, and as usual, players are jockeying for position, eager to be involved in the opening game of the season at Old Trafford. The most hotly debated positions have to be at centre back where Marcelo Bielsa has the luxury of choosing two from Llorente, Cooper, Koch and Struijk; a rarity he was rarely afforded last term. New club ambassador Noel When believes 'It’s going to be a really difficult decision to make';
We are blessed with four quality centre-halves. I cannot remember a time where we have had this much competition in that position. It’s going to be a really difficult decision to make. Every single one has got a case to play. You have internationals in Cooper, Llorente and Koch and a great young player in Struijk who I thought was excellent last season. He really stepped up to the plate and showed what a fantastic centre-half he is. He just got better and better.
It is going to be a hell of a jostle in pre-season for those two spots. I am excited by it. “Llorente really showed what a top player he is when he came in. He got a good relationship going with Struijk. He also had a good one with Cooper as well. It is going to be a real tussle between the four of them. You just hope that none of them get any kind of injury that halts their pre-season. Competition is so important to get the best out of players.
Whites pursue Algerian international
Several sports media outlets are reportingthat Leeds are talks with Ligue 1 outfit Metz over their versatile midfielder Farid Boulaya. The 28-year-old can play in attacking midfield or on either flank. Last season, the Algerian International netted six times and was credited with eight assists, helping his side secure a 10th-placed finish in the French top flight. He only has twelve months left on his contract, hence interest from West Yorkshire that they may be able to secure a deal for just €4.5 million.
Leeds chasing Yangel Herrera
According to the Sun, both Leeds and West Ham have been linked to Manchester City's midfielder Yangel Herrera. The 21-capped Venezuela international has enjoyed a two year loan deal at La Liga outfit Granada, helping them to a top half finish last season. He played 62 times, netting five times.
Herrera 23, signed for the blue side of Manchester back in 2017 from Atlético Venezuela. Unfortunately, four years on, Herrara is yet to make his debut! Citeh value their gritty and tenacious midfielder at £20m, which is more than Leeds would want to pay out on a defensive midfielder who will not be guaranteed a starting position!
Perhaps Pep Guardiola will let Leeds have his services on a season long loan move subject to a fixed fee?