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Leeds United transfer news: Bielsa plots free agent reunion, Phillips claims Whites will look to sell 'non-existent' talent

Leeds United have been ravaged by defensive injuries this season.

For the vast majority of the campaign, Marcelo Bielsa has been forced to play some kind of makeshift back-line or other, and the extent of the issue is hammered home by the fact that Tuesday night's 3-0 win over Southampton was just the third time that summer signing Diego Llorente had appeared in the Premier League this term.

With that in mind, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the Whites are being linked with defensive reinforcements this summer.

According to Calcio Mercato, Bielsa is considering a move for Torino centre-back Nicolas N’Koulou.

The Cameroonian is set to become a free agent at the end of the campaign, and Bielsa previously worked alongside him during his time at Marseille, valuing him “very much”.

The 30-year-old has made 11 Serie A appearances this season, and on paper, he looks as if he has a lot to offer.

Compared to Liam Cooper, for instance, he has made 1.12 more interceptions per match this season, as well has having a pass completion rate that is 5.3% better, and making 1.02 more clearances too.

In terms of a free signing who could offer old school defensive solidity, Leeds could probably do a lot worse.

Elsewhere, Kevin Phillips has suggested that the Whites could be tempted to listen to offers for Rodrigo this summer.

The Spain international arrived at Elland Road as a club record signing, but has been limited to just 12 appearances amid a number of niggling injuries issues, and there have been reports from Italy that Juventus could look to snap him up.

Speaking to Football Insider, Phillips said: “If Juventus are interested in signing Rodrigo I think Leeds would be tempted.

“It has not worked out. He has been injury prone so they might look to get him off their books.

“Leeds may just park that one and go for someone else. He has been non-existent this season which is a shame because we never really got to see him at his best.”Calling Rodrigo “non-existent" seems a tad harsh, although the hope will be that a prolonged run in the side gives him an opportunity to build on his tally of three goals and one assist.

We’ve gathered the rest of today’s Premier League transfer speculation below: