‘Seemed a bit cold’ - Phil Hay delivers verdict on talks between Leeds United and £3.5m-rated transfer target

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Leeds United are looking to stack up their defence before the transfer window slams shut.

Leeds United are off the mark in their first season back in the Championship after earning a hard-fought point against Cardiff City in their opening 2-2 draw. However, the injury to Liam Cooper has left a sense of anxiety hanging over the team as they ponder their defensive options.

The Whites have already sanctioned three loan exit deals for centre-backs this summer, including Robin Koch, and they are now looking very thin at the heart of their defence. Leeds will travel with just two fit central defenders to face Birmingham City this weekend.

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Fortunately, there have been a few names linked with a move to Elland Road before the window closes, including Liverpool’s Nat Phillips. Another is Pantelis Hatzidiakos of AZ Alkmaar, who has entered the final year on his contract and is said to be open to leaving this summer for a new challenge.

Leeds have already tabled a €2.5 million (£2.1m) offer for the 26-year-old so far, but the Eredivisie club are looking for closer to the €3-4million (£2.5-3.5m) region. Phil Hay of The Athletic has shed a little light on this situation and it’s not news of a breakthrough deal, unfortunately for supporters.

“I did ask the question about him [Hatzidiakos] this morning,” he said during an appearance on The Square Ball Podcast (h/t Leeds All Over). “It seemed a bit cold on that front but we know there’s the interest in Nat Phillips, but as of this morning there doesn’t seem to have been much in the way of further developments.”

Leeds are determined to fight for their place back in the Premier League as soon as possible and many have tipped them to make an immediate return to the top flight. However, they must utilise these remaining weeks on the transfer window to bolster their squad as much as they can, or it’s going to be a long season in one of the most competitive and unpredictable leagues.

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