Leeds in talks to sign £13.6m colossus

João Palhinha

Another day, another new target for Leeds United.

This transfer window has been incredibly exciting for the Whites and if you thought they'd now taken a bit of a backseat, you'd be wrong.

Josko Gvardiol could arrive and they're even trying to lure Julian Draxler to the club.

The transfer window is often described as silly season, and truth be told, we're witnessing something rather ridiculous at Elland Road.

If they bring Draxler to Yorkshire it would be a considerable coup - it would be even bigger than James Rodriguez's move to Everton. 

It seems as though Leeds suddenly have an interest in improving their midfield. Rodrigo de Paul has been linked over the last week or so, but they're contemplating a swoop for a more defensive player.

That's if you believe reports from Portugal.

Marcelo Bielsa

According to the print version of A Bola (via Sport Witness), Leeds are interested in signing Portuguese holding midfielder Joao Palhinha from Sporting Lisbon.

The colossal 6 foot 3 presence was on loan at Braga last season but has now returned to Sporting and has been made available to buy. 

Wolves and CSKA Moscow have both been interested in the 25-year-old but with the former stuttering over a move, Leeds are now seemingly in pole position to secure Palhinha's services. 

Marcelo Bielsa's team have supposedly 'asked' about signing him and have been told that the midfielder will cost around €15m (£13.6m). 

If they don't receive that offer, then it's said Sporting will keep Palhinha in the squad and offer him a fresh contract. 

Joao Palhinha

GIVEMESPORT'S Matt Dawson says...

Palhinha is an eye-catching player for plenty of reasons. Standing tall in the middle of the park, he won 3.7 aerial duels per game in the Europa League last season and also made 2.1 tackles a match.

He is the perfect defensive midfielder, possessing fine accuracy with his passing too.

For Braga last term, he completed 83% of his passes and picked up a massive 15 yellow cards in all competitions. He is the very definition of tough tackling. 

Speaking about the player in 2017, Portuguese football writer Jose Miguel Saraiva detailed his finest qualities.

"He uses, in a rather intelligent way, his enormous physical power to retrieve the ball without faulty actions and instead of leading the way in his team’s strategy, he prefers to leave the construction of the back-to-forth transitions to his midfield colleagues." 

Joao Palhinha vs Wolves

That being said, do Leeds really need to improve in this area of the field? It's always good to have more options but Kalvin Phillips is a certainty to play in that holding role, especially after earning his England debut.

Competition for places is no bad thing but we know that Bielsa likes to operate with a small squad. 

Palhinha is a sturdy player and has all the right qualities to thrive in England but Leeds should swerve this one for the time being.

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