Leeds transfer news: Marcelo Bielsa's 'immediate target' for January revealed

Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa wants to sign Ross Barkley in January

Chelsea midfielder Ross Barkley is the 'immediate target' for Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa in the January transfer window, according to journalist Pete O'Rourke

Barkley has already represented Leeds previously, having made four appearances for the Yorkshire side back in 2013. 

What's the latest news involving Ross Barkley?

It was somewhat surprising that Barkley didn't leave Chelsea during the summer, especially as his contract had reached the all-important two years remaining mark which usually leaves clubs inclined to sell. 

The England international spent last term on loan at Aston Villa but after initially impressing with two goals and one assist in his first four games, he became a much less frequent member of Dean Smith's starting XIs in the second half of the campaign. 

The Daily Mail recently reported that Leeds are monitoring Barkley's situation ahead of the summer transfer window, with the Blues midfielder's game-time this season limited under Thomas Tuchel.

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What has Pete O'Rourke said about Ross Barkley?

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, O'Rourke has dubbed Barkley as Bielsa's 'immediate' target for the coming transfer window, suggesting he will be Leeds' priority signing next month. 

The journalist told GMS: "Barkley is Bielsa's immediate target in the January transfer window if he can get one in."

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Do Leeds need Ross Barkley?

Squad depth has often been a problem for Leeds under Bielsa and the Elland Road boss alluded to the fact his squad needs to be bigger back in October. Since then Leeds have fielded some inexperienced line-ups - such as the side which lost 2-1 to Tottenham and featured 19-year-old Joel Gelhardt up front.

Clearly Leeds need more depth for the second half of the season and Barkley offers proven Premier League pedigree. He's closing in on 250 appearances in the top flight, having represented three different clubs in the division - the Blues, Villa and boyhood side Everton. 

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Should Leeds be looking to sign anyone else in January?

Looking at Leeds' current squad, it's clear they lack options at centre-forward. Patrick Bamford provided 17 goals and seven assists in the Premier League last season, but injuries have limited his involvement so far this term. 

Perhaps the most obvious alternative to Bamford, Rodrigo, has spent much of the campaign playing in midfield, while Tyler Roberts simply struggles to score consistently in the Premier League.

Another strike option would massively boost Leeds' survival chances, but whether the club are even in the market for one right now remains to be seen. 

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