Club slap £50m price-tag Leeds United-linked midfielder as major contract decision put on hold

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Your round-up of the latest Leeds United headlines in the week that Daniel Farke’s men can return to the Premier League.

Leeds United will finally know their fate by the end of this week and preparations are well underway for Sunday’s Championship final clash against Southampton. Daniel Farke’s side will head to Wembley full of confidence after tearing Norwich City apart with a commanding 4-0 semi-final second-leg win at Elland Road on Thursday.

Southampton booked their place in the final with a 3-1 win over West Brom the following evening and so two of last season’s relegated teams will battle to join Leicester City and Ipswich Town in the top-flight. It’s set to be another tense and exciting week in West Yorkshire, and the YEP has rounded up some of the latest stories surrounding the club in the meantime.

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O’Riley price-tag

Leeds will likely have to break their transfer record if they want to sign reported target Matt O’Riley, with journalist Alan Nixon reporting Celtic have slapped a £50million price-tag on their talisman. O’Riley continues to attract plenty of interest after registering an incredible 18 goals and 13 assists as his side won the Scottish Premiership.

Premier League trio Brighton, Everton and West Ham United have all been scouting O’Riley in recent weeks, according to the Scottish Sun, with the former thought to be furthest along in their assessments. Any interest from those in charge at Elland Road will only stand any chance of progressing if Leeds win promotion back into the Premier League, with Celtic hopeful they can double the Scottish record transfer of Kieran Tierney to Arsenal for £25m.

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O’Riley will still have three years remaining on his deal at Celtic come summer and has shown no public desire to leave. Having been quizzed on his future over the weekend, the 23-year-old said: “That’s a tough question. Yeah, it would be very difficult [to walk away from Celtic]. I have said before, the club means a lot to me.”

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Cooper contract latest

Liam Cooper is reportedly keen to extend his stay at Leeds for a 11th season but will not learn of his fate until after the play-off final. The Sunday People reports that talks over a potential extension have been put on hold and will depend on the outcome of Sunday’s meeting with Southampton.

Cooper joined Leeds in the summer of 2014 and has been a regular starter ever since, captaining the club to promotion under Marcelo Bielsa in 2019/20 and through three seasons in the Premier League. But since dropping back down, the 32-year-old’s minutes have been limited and with his contract expiring at the end of next month, there is an expectation he will join the likes of Luke Ayling and Stuart Dallas in moving on.

Leeds are one of few Championship teams yet to publish their retained list, with the obvious reason being that their season is not over. Cooper was given an incredible reception when coming off the bench during Thursday’s win over Norwich, although Farke insisted after the result that it was not a decision based on sentiment.