Lewis O’Brien would jump at the chance to join Leeds United if they reignite their interest in the Huddersfield Town midfielder during the January transfer window, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side went into the campaign looking to build on a positive first season back in the Premier League, but they currently find themselves hovering dangerously close to the relegation zone heading into 2022.
How close did Leeds come to signing O’Brien in the summer?
Leeds were heavily linked with O’Brien during the summer transfer window and Huddersfield chairman Phil Hodgkinson rejected four bids from the Elland Road outfit, with the most lucrative proposal being worth £13million.
Hodgkinson suggested it was not the fee which proved to be the stumbling block, with it instead coming down to the structure of the deal.
However, Leeds director of football Victor Orta claimed he was unable to secure the 23-year-old’s services due to refusing to meet the Terriers’ valuation of the central midfielder.
Less than a month after the transfer window slammed shut, O’Brien committed his long-term future to Huddersfield by penning a new four-year deal.
That will result in the Terriers being in a strong negotiating position if suitors strengthen their interest and the pressures of the January window could result in them being able to recoup an inflated figure for their academy graduate next month.
What has Pete O’Rourke said about O’Brien?
Although O’Brien signed a fresh contract at the John Smith’s Stadium a matter of months ago, O’Rourke believes the midfielder would be keen to secure a move to Leeds if they choose to test Huddersfield’s resolve again.
The journalist feels the Terriers may find it more difficult to fend off bids during the January transfer window, with him clearly being well-liked by Bielsa during the Whites’ initial pursuit.
O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT: “He signed a new contract at Huddersfield but I’m sure if the opportunity came to go to Leeds, it would be something that he would jump at.
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“Let’s see if Huddersfield are able to turn down any offers for the midfielder.”
Do Leeds need to bring in a central midfielder?
Key midfielder Kalvin Phillips was ruled out for two months after suffering a hamstring injury during Leeds’ stalemate with Brentford.
The Whites have conceded a worryingly high number of goals in Phillips’ absence, so Bielsa is likely to want to bring in reinforcements during the January transfer window.
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There has also been uncertainty over Phillips’ future at Elland Road as reports suggest Manchester United and Liverpool are looking to seal a £60million deal next summer.
However, Leeds have been boosted by the news that the 26-year-old has set his sights on penning a fresh contract with his current employers.
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