Leeds 'actively working' to bolster midfield ahead of summer transfer window

Leeds United’s summer transfer plans are well underway as they are already ‘actively working’ on bolstering their midfield options, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

Head coach Marcelo Bielsa failed to add reinforcements to his squad before the January window slammed shut, but it appears the Yorkshire side are pressing ahead with their end-of-season preparations.

What midfielders have Leeds been linked with?

Leeds were heavily linked with a move for Red Bull Salzburg playmaker Brenden Aaronson last month and the club are understood to be confident that he will be on the market when the transfer window reopens in the summer.

The Whites saw an initial bid of £15million turned down by his current employers and The Athletic correspondent Phil Hay suggested the Yorkshire club’s counter-offer, worth £20million, was not even considered.

Chelsea outcast Ross Barkley has also been on Bielsa’s radar, although he opted against strengthening his interest in January.

Huddersfield Town’s Lewis O’Brien has been a long-term target, having seen four bids rejected last summer, and his contract includes a £10million release clause.

Leeds have also tracked Reading ace John Swift, whose £25,000-per-week deal with the Championship club expires at the end of the season.

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What has Pete O’Rourke said about the situation?

O’Rourke understands that Leeds have identified midfield as a priority position to bolster when the transfer window reopens in the summer.

The journalist believes the club hierarchy are already working around the clock to find suitable signings, ensuring they beat other potential suitors to their services.

O’Rourke told GIVEMESPORT: “I think midfield will be a key position for Leeds to strengthen in the summer and it’s something they’re actively working on.”

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What are Leeds’ current midfield options?

Leeds have four central midfielders on their books, as it stands, with those being Kalvin Phillips, Adam Forshaw, Mateusz Klich and Jamie Shackleton.

However, the Whites are bracing themselves for more interest in 19-cap England international Phillips when the transfer window reopens.

The Sun revealed West Ham United made a club-record bid of £50million in an attempt to persuade Leeds into selling their academy product last month.

The report suggests the Hammers are set to return with another proposal in the summer after seeing their initial offer pushed back.

It has previously been reported that Liverpool and arch-rivals Manchester United are preparing to battle it out for Phillips’ signature as well.

Shackleton, meanwhile, has often been deployed on the right-hand side of Leeds’ defence whenever he has been given the nod by Bielsa this season.

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