Leeds United are interested in signing Maritimo’s Josip Vukovic this summer, according to an exclusive report by talkSPORT.
They claim the Whites are one of a number of sides thought to be keen on the Croatian midfielder after he put in a number of ‘battling displays’ for the Primeira Liga outfit last season and kept them in the division.
Premier League clubs Southampton and Aston Villa are said to be keen on the 27-year-old as he is believed to be eager on a move to England’s top-flight and has already turned down moves to Benfica, LOSC Lille and an unnamed Russian outfit.
It is also suggested a transfer fee of £1.5m could be enough to see Maritimo sell him.
Vukovic appears to be a highly regarded talent within the game as talkSPORT mention that he has previously been watched by the likes of Wolverhampton Wanderers, Leicester City and Watford whilst Calciomercato claimed Aston Villa and Rangers had been keen on him back in April.
Leeds’ name appears to be a new one that has been thrown into the mix though. However, he could be the type of player Marcelo Bielsa needs should he lose Kalvin Phillips this summer, with their current defensive midfield star allegedly willing to force a move away from Elland Road (The Sun).
Vukovic provided Maritimo with a solid contribution in the middle of the pitch if the data collected by WhoScored last season is anything to go by.
Defensively, he managed to average 1.8 tackles and interceptions in his 25 top-flight appearances, whilst he also tried to get in on the act with his passing ability, although his figures arguably leave a little to be desired. The 27-year-old managed to provide an average of 0.5 key passes per match, completing 30.4 passes every 90 minutes at a 78.1% success rate.
In comparison, Phillips had an exceptional campaign under Bielsa last season and it could require a special player to replace him should he leave.
Defensively, he was ranked top for tackles (2.6) and made 1.3 interceptions as he helped protect the backline from a number of attacks, but it could be said that he is more useful further forward.
The 23-year-old was one of the most active in the side when spraying the ball around the pitch, as he averaged 58.5 passes per match with an 82.1% pass success rate (per WhoScored). He was also effective when creating chances as he created 0.6 key passes per game, whilst chipping in with three assists and one goal in his 44 appearances.
When comparing those stats with what Phillips managed to achieve for Leeds last season, questions could be asked about whether Vukovic is the right man to be brought into the Championship outfit.
Even if Leeds manage to hold onto their 23-year-old talent, with the lack of options available to Bielsa at the moment, Vukovic would still have to be considered a solid addition to the defensive midfield.
Phillips could drop back to centre-back as he did numerous times last season and that could allow the 27-year-old Croatian to fill in and provide the Whites’ backline with additional protection.
Leeds fans, do you think Vukovic could be a good addition at Elland Road this summer? Let us know what you think by sharing your thoughts in the comments section below!
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