Marcelo Bielsa has consistently made it clear that he is not interested in adding to his squad in January, but Jamal Blackman’s unfortunate injury last month may well force him to sign a new stopper in the winter window.
Just at the moment in which Bielsa had planned on giving Blackman a chance to shine in the first-team, the Chelsea loanee picked up a serious injury and was forced to return to west London.
Back to the drawing board and perhaps over to plan B. Blackman had played the role of Bailey Peacock-Farrell’s understudy up until the point of his injury, but his return to Chelsea has left Bielsa short of a senior back up goalkeeper.
That realisation has stimulated interest in Newcastle United goalkeeper Karl Darlow, according to the Daily Mirror. However, a report from The Sun earlier this month detailed Aston Villa’s rival interest in Darlow amid an unconvincing start to the season from Orjan Nyland.
With rival interest potentially blocking their path to Darlow’s signature, Leeds had reason to believe they would face an uphill battle to secure the Newcastle outcast, but a recent tweet from the Midlands reporter for the Daily Telegraph John Percy suggests Villa’s interest lies elsewhere.
Lovre Kalinić to #avfc is now a done deal. Fee of €6m agreed with Gent for the Croatia international goalkeeper. First major signing for Dean Smith
— John Percy (@JPercyTelegraph) December 20, 2018
That Villa have reportedly agreed a fee worth €6 million (£5.4 million) suggests that a deal could be just around the corner, leaving Leeds in the clear to sign Darlow in January.
Naturally other rival bidders could yet scupper Leeds in their bid to sign the Welsh stopper, but Villa’s decision to pursue Kalinic’s signature will certainly be greeted with enthusiasm by the club’s hierarchy.
Whether Leeds can afford the reported £4 million asking price Newcastle are demanding for Darlow’s services remains to be seen, but with Villa’s potential interest out of the fold they might just be able to drag that price down.
Leeds fans – thoughts? Let us know below!
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