Leeds United are reportedly facing stiff competition to sign Hoffenheim’s Austrian midfielder Florian Grillitsch.
What’s the word?
That’s according to Austrian publication Die Presse Am Sonntag (via MOT Leeds News), who claim that the player has rejected a new contract from his club.
Several other clubs are said to be interested, with Arsenal, Everton, Lazio and Fiorentina all noted.
However, it is thought that the latter already have a verbal agreement on a contract, so Leeds will have to act promptly to hijack the move.
A Kalvin Phillips replacement?
With Kalvin Phillips’ Elland Road exit constantly touted, perhaps Jesse Marsch is ready to cash in and make a huge swoop for this bargain alternative.
Grillitsch has enjoyed a fine personal season in Germany, recording an average SofaScore rating of 7.21. This solidity and consistency across 18 league matches is something which Leeds have lacked, mainly due to the injury issues they have suffered.
Standing at 6 foot 1, the midfielder does possess more of a hulking figure than Phillips, but both operate as predominantly ball-winning engines for their sides.
Grillitsch’s stats this season prove that he could comfortably fill the role that the Yorkshire-born battler may leave.
The Austrian ace boasts 11.85 pressures per 90, along with a further 2.47 tackles and 2.41 interceptions. Instantly this outlines him as a solid defensive asset, but the fact he ranks in the 99th percentile for shot-creating actions per 90 best showcases his apparent creativity on the ball.
This far outweighs Phillips’ offensive stats, as he sits in the 19th percentile for the same category.
The 26-year-old’s fine season in Germany has earned high praise from his former manager, Bayern Munich’s Julian Nagelsmann, who had the following to say:
“In my opinion, Flo Grillitsch is one of the best six in the Bundesliga, which is a bit under the radar. At least you rarely read anything about him,” he stated. “But he is an exceptional footballer and has an incredible gift for setting the rhythm of the game.”
In this combative yet classy £14.4m-rated central midfielder, Marsch could perhaps even improve upon their cult hero and make a huge profit in the process.
Victor Orta and co will have to act quickly, however, if they are to swoop in front of Fiorentina for the highly-rated gem.