Leeds United ‘join’ race for £8.7m transfer as Jesse Marsch ‘reveals’ snub

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The latest news headlines from Leeds United including transfer rumours and an admission from ex-Whites’ boss Jesse Marsch

Leeds United have expressed interest in signing OH Leuven’s Mandela Keita this summer, according to journalist David Van den Broeck. The midfielder joined Antwerp on loan in the January transfer window.

Keita was a regular for OH Leuven last season but was sent out on loan after making only eight appearances in the first half of the campaign. The Belgian has started every league match since moving north and looks to have impressed a number of clubs across Europe.

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Leeds United have reportedly joined Blackburn Rovers and Norwich City in the race for Keita’s signature, however any potential move will depend on Antwerp. Mark van Bommel’s side have a €10m option to buy the 20-year-old in the summer, though Keita could still turn them down if he is tempted by a move to England. If the player doesn’t join Antwerp then Leuven could instead cash in on him for a similar price.

The Whites are likely to hold a huge advantage in the race for Keita’s signature if they are to remain in the Premier League next season. If the midfielder can continue improving at such a young age then €10m could also prove to be an absolute steal for Javi Gracia’s side.

Why Marsch turned down Saints

Former USA international, Jimmy Conrad, has opened up on conversations he has had with Jesse Marsch over why he turned down the Southampton job. It has been two months since Marsch was sacked by Leeds United and he has already rejected roles at two other clubs.

Marsch left the Whites above the relegation zone on goal difference after a defeat to Nottingham Forest and has been out of work since. It wasn’t long before the American was heavily linked with a move to St. Mary’s Stadium to replace Ralph Hassenhuttl, however he opted against it before playing out a similar situation with Leicester City earlier this week.

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Speaking on the Soccer We Trust podcast, Conrad said: “The fact that he has said ‘no’ to a couple of Premier League teams is interesting. Southampton was first, now Leicester City.

“I had some text conversations with him about Southampton. Some of the insight he gave me about Southampton was that they just don’t know what they want. They don’t know where they want to go. Maybe they just wanted him for the rest of the season.

“I am sure Jesse could see that was happening and he was like; ‘You know what, I’m gonna pass’. But it’s pretty cool that he’s been part of these conversations and even cooler that he’s saying; ‘Nah, screw you guys, I can see what you are trying to do’!”

Marsch has now struggled to impress at two jobs in Europe after lasting only four months at RB Leipzig the year before his move to Elland Road and another failed move could cost him his reputation - perhaps a reason why the 49-year-old doesn’t want to dive straight into another relegation battle.

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