Leeds United have been handed a transfer boost in their chase to sign Wolfsburg star Josip Brekalo.
What’s the story?
Reports in recent weeks and months have suggested that the Croatia international is a target for Marcelo Bielsa’s side this summer as they look to bolster their options out wide.
German publication Kicker has now delivered a boost to the Whites’ chances of signing the 23-year-old, revealing that many of the clubs who like Brekalo actually do not have the funds required to complete a transfer.
Should Leeds sign Brekalo?
The report adds that, while there is a long queue of admirers for him, Wolfsburg’s demands have put off most of the prospective suitors.
Helder Costa can now leave
Leeds’ interest in Brekalo is perfectly timed, with reports suggesting that Helder Costa could be on his way out of the club this summer.
Football Insider have reported in recent months that Jorge Mendes is working hard to find the Portuguese winger a new club, with La Liga said to be his preferred option, and that would leave a gap in Bielsa’s squad out wide.
Costa endured a nightmare campaign in the Premier League last term for Bielsa’s side, scoring just three times and providing only three assists in 22 top-flight games.
And, after a particularly disappointing performance against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, former Leeds man Noel Whelan slammed the winger, saying: “The one player that disappointed me was Helder Costa. Once again he was poor. There is something there that is not right because Poveda came on and did more in that short time than Costa did in the 60 minutes he was on the field.
“He is fourth in the pecking order in terms of wingers for me. Poveda has to come before him now. He plays it safe and he’s negative. For a player that cost £16m, I need to see a hell of a lot more from him. At least Poveda runs at people. He is positive and that is what a winger should do. Costa has been a massive flop. A real disappointment again.”
In Brekalo, Leeds would be getting someone who not only is exciting with the ball at his feet, but also has an end product to his game. The Croatian bagged seven goals and set up another three in 29 Bundesliga outings last term, including a superb hat-trick in his penultimate game of the season against Union Berlin.
Goal’s Bundesliga journalist Ronan Murphy offered his thoughts on the Croatian on Twitter, saying: “The less said about his off-field antics the better, as he should leave his on-field performances do the talking. Able to unlock defences and strong cutting in to shoot, he will torment defenders everywhere.”
Able to play on either flank like Costa has done for Leeds, the £26m-rated Brekalo could come in and be a fine replacement for the Portuguese winger, thus allowing the Whites to get rid of someone who just hasn’t produced the goods often enough.