‘In with a very good chance’ - Leeds United left-back transfer state of play as January approaches
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Leeds United are reportedly “on with” the potential signing of Red Bull Salzburg Maximilian Wöber, according to YEP chief football writer Graham Smyth on the Inside Elland Road podcast. However, Smyth also mentioned that there is nothing “cast-iron” in place as of yet to bring him on board.
“Wöber is one that they're on with. There's no cast-iron guarantee that it's going to happen but Leeds have shown an ability, shall we say, to get players out of Salzburg for fees that I think Leeds have felt have been fair.
“I think this is another player they feel they can get for a reasonable price, maybe in the region of £10-12 million. He's captain of Salzburg. So you’ve got leadership there. He’s quite a good age. He can play left-back and he can play left sided centre-back.”
Wöber has made 15 appearances in the Austrian Bundesliga this season, scoring a solitary goal and racking up two assists. In total, he has made 81 appearances for Salzburg during his time there.
Not only can he play as a left-sided centre back, he can also function effectively as a left back. As Leeds already have plenty of options at centre back, it’s likely that he may be deployed as a left back for Leeds. Despite this, he could provide competition for the likes of Liam Cooper and Pascal Struijk.
“That’s where the kind of confusion arose a little bit, people thinking ‘well, we don’t need a centre-back because we’ve got Cooper and Struijk there’. But I guess the rationale is that Cooper’s 31, he can’t play every game in a season because he does pick up niggles,” Smyth added.
He wouldn’t be the first player that Leeds have snapped up from Salzburg. In the summer, they signed Brendan Aaronson for a fee of approximately £24.7 million from the Austrian money club. Additionally, the Whites also completed the transfer of Rasmus Kristensen (also from Salzburg) for an undisclosed fee.
The Telegraph report that Salzburg would be willing to structure a deal which would allow Leeds to pay in instalments over the period in which Wöber represents Leeds, as opposed to paying a fee up front.
“There's already a well-beaten, well-trodden path for Wöber to go down that may well grease the wheels for this one. But they certainly seem to think that they're in with a very good chance.”