Leeds United deny transfer report ahead of summer transfer window changes

Leeds United have denied that Robin Koch can leave this summer on a free transfer due to a relegation clause.
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German outlet BILD suggested this week that the central defender would be able to depart the club this summer for nothing thanks to the Whites' drop into the Championship. Koch, who joined a newly-promoted Leeds in 2020 ahead of a journey into the unknown of the English top flight, penned a four-year deal that has not been extended since.

As this season's relegation battle became more fraught it was increasingly apparent that Koch's national team ambitions would make his retention unlikely should Leeds suffer relegation. Although Leeds have made it clear they will try all they can to keep others, such as Willy Gnonto, Max Wober and star midfielder Tyler Adams, it has long been expected that Koch, along with Illan Meslier, would depart.

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But club sources have refuted the suggestion from Germany that Koch could leave for free. It is theoretically possible that the 26-year-old could seek a loan move to run out the final year of his deal but even in that case Leeds could command a loan fee and remove him from the wage bill.

Koch has made 77 appearances for the Whites in three years with injury issues, including a knee problem that required surgery and an operation on his pubis area, disrupting his time at Elland Road.

The yet-to-be-completed takeover by 49ers Enterprises means Leeds may not have to sell many of their first team regulars but significant changes are still expected on the playing front this summer. The club published their retained list on Monday, revealing that senior pair Adam Forshaw and Joel Robles will be released when their contracts expire this summer. Both men have been given an invite to pre-season training however, making it possible that they could earn a fresh deal by impressing a new manager at Thorp Arch.

On the managerial front, Leeds have narrowed their search to a shortlist and interviews are taking place this week with CEO Angus Kinnear and 49ers Enterprises president Paraag Marathe speaking to potential appointees. Both Daniel Farke and Carlos Corberan are among those Leeds have looked at during the process due to their success in the second tier.