Leeds United have reportedly pulled out of a summer move for Newcastle United goalkeeper Freddie Woodman, with other targets now being considered.
The Lowdown: Woodman catches Leeds’ eye
Marcelo Bielsa will need to sign a new ‘keeper this season, with Kiko Casilla completing a season-long loan move to Elche earlier this week. While Illan Meslier will likely continue at Leeds’ first-choice stopper next season, having an able deputy is of the utmost importance.
The Latest: Whites pull out of deal
There has now been a twist in the saga, however, with Football Insider claiming that Leeds have ‘ended their interest’ in the 24-year-old, who has been called ‘excellent’ by Swansea City manager Steve Cooper, despite submitting an offer to sign him on loan with a view to a permanent deal only a few days ago.
Levante’s Dani Cardenas and Valerenga’s Kristoffer Klaesson are mentioned as the two front-runners to come in instead, with the pair both seen as cheaper alternatives to Woodman, who turned down Leeds’ advances due to his reluctance to play second fiddle to Meslier at Elland Road.
The Verdict: Key summer addition
It is vital that Leeds bring in the right replacement for Casilla, should the unthinkable happen and Meslier pick up a long-term injury or drastically lose form.
The Frenchman has shown how influential the role of a goalkeeper can be, keeping 11 clean sheets as Bielsa’s team finished ninth upon their top-flight return, so the Whites need to decide if Cardenas or Klaesson is the right choice having ended their interest in Woodman.
Both targets are still young and maturing – they are 24 and 20, respectively – so either could mature at Elland Road (just like the 21-year-old Meslier has done) and become a reliable squad option.
In other news, Leeds are thought to be interested in signing a 24-year-old this summer. Find out who it is here.
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