Leeds transfer news: Star compared to Arjen Robben of interest; there's some major competition

Josip Brekalo warms up for Croatia at Euro 2020

Wolfsburg could allow reported Leeds United target Josip Brekalo to leave the club this summer, according to CalcioMercato.

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The Yorkshire giants are said to be keen on a move for the Croatian international, along with the likes of Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid and Fiorentina. 

In order to raise funds, the German outfit are said to be prepared to allow the forward to leave on a loan-to-buy basis ahead of a potential €18m (roughly £15.3m) deal next summer. 

At this stage, Spanish champions Atletico are thought to be in pole position. 

Who is Josip Brekalo?

Able to operate on either attacking flank, the 23-year-old came through the ranks at Dinamo Zagreb before moving to Germany in 2016 and was included in his country’s squad for Euro 2020. 

Last season, he scored seven times and recorded a further three assists across 22 league starts while averaging 1.6 shots, 1.3 key passes and 1 dribble per game (via WhoScored). For context, that output would have him ranking within Leeds’ top four players for those metrics during the 2020/21 campaign. 

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Three years ago, the Bundesliga’s official website revealed the winger had been compared to Bayern Munich legend, Arjen Robben. 

Would he fit in at Leeds? 

Obviously, it’s not as easy as merely translating those averages into a new team and playing style but Brekalo would appear to fit the profile of player Leeds are reportedly targeting. 

Back in May, Football Insider revealed that the club were keen to draft in a new forward capable of easing some of the attacking burden on Patrick Bamford, ideally aged between 18 and 23. 

On paper, Brekalo would fit that. 

What has been said about Brekalo? 

Last year, the Bundesliga’s website relayed a comment from the player’s former athletics coach, Slavko Petrovic, in which he talked up Brekalo’s athleticism. 

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“He would have become a brilliant runner if he had continued with athletics,” he said. 

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