Huddersfield chief makes claim about Leeds United transfer chase, Liverpool handed major boost

Leeds United and Marcelo Bielsa are preparing for a Premier League meeting with Liverpool this weekend - here are Friday's key headlines from Elland Road that you need to know.

Friday, 10th September 2021, 8:49 am
Huddersfield Town midfielder Lewis O'Brien. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Huddersfield chief makes claims about Leeds United transfer chase

Huddersfield Town chairman Phil Hodgkinson has revealed that the club rejected four offers from Leeds United to sign midfielder Lewis O'Brien in the summer transfer window.

Speaking to the BBC and Yorkshire Live, he said: “To be honest with you, it wasn’t anything to do with the valuation. The fourth offer we rejected was £13m.

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“The issue was not the valuation, the issue was the structure of the offer, so what I have to consider, having spoken to Lewis, (was) Lewis wanted to play football, that’s what Lewis wants to do, which is fantastic to hear.

“From my perspective, it’s about how much of that £13m is guaranteed, it’s about how much of it is add-ons and what those add-ons are made up of.

“It’s also about how much cash you’re getting through the door because we were under no illusion and we were looking at replacing Lewis.

“We would have been paying out seven figures, significant seven figures, to replace Lewis, and coming out of Covid we had to make sure the cash we got through the door covered what we had to pay out to replace Lewis.

“So the reality was it wasn’t the amount, £13m was the fourth offer we rejected, it was the structure we rejected.

“It didn’t work for us as a football club, and my concern was the fact Leeds wouldn’t go up to a structure we wanted, which was a reasonable one. Even the player’s agent said so."

Liverpool injury latest ahead of Whites meeting

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has declared himself fit for Jurgen Klopp ahead of this weekend's clash with Leeds United.

“Taki is already here for a while, he got injured obviously with Japan," Klopp told the Liverpool club website.

“With Virgil, that was obviously a scary moment, you can imagine. I sent him a message after the game, ‘Are you alright?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘100 per cent?’ ‘200 per cent.’ ‘Come on, send me a video of you without limping...’ ‘I’m only limping off.’

“So he called me from the bus and said, ‘Boss, I’m fine!’ I said, ‘Why are you limping then?’ He said, ‘My wife asked the same!’

"So, yeah, that was a bit of a tricky moment but apart from that, no, all fine [for the other international players].

“Bobby is not [fit], it happened in the game [against Chelsea] obviously.

“Harvey is fine again.

“Millie, we have to see. Millie has to be part of team training yet, he was not part of team training so far, so we will see what he can do. But he will get closer, definitely.”

Naby Keita has also returned to Merseyside after he was allowed to leave Guinea amid political unrest in his home country.

“Naby is fine,” Klopp added.

“Yesterday he was not here [at the AXA Training Centre] but he was in Liverpool again. I will have a chat with him today, but from what I know from all the calls and talks we had, he’s fine.”

Friday's Premier League rumours

Belgium midfielder Youri Tielemans is being watched by Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United as Leicester try to tie down the 24-year-old to a new contract. (AS)

Bayern Munich are reportedly interested in 25-year-old forward Timo Werner, who has not started a Premier League match for Chelsea since the start of the season. (Express)

Arteta has suggested English midfielder Jack Wilshere could train with former club Arsenal while he attempts to find a new club following his release from Bournemouth. (Mirror)

Everton tried to agree a deal with Turkish side Istanbul Basaksehir to sell midfielder James Rodriguez but the Colombia international refused to leave Goodison Park. (AS)