Setback for Leeds’ transfer hopes as Josko Gvardiol snubs Elland Road move

Leeds have lost out to RB Leipzig in the race to sign Croatian rising star Josko Gvardiol.

Leeds agreed a fee of £19.6million or 22million Euros with Dinamo Zagreb for the 18-year-old Gvardiol with a 20 per cent sell-in clause.

However the centre-half has rejected Leeds to sign for Leipzig, even though Leeds’ offer of a four-year deal worth £25,000-a-week was worth more.

The Croatia Under-21 international feels Leipzig is a better career move because of their rapid progress in recent years and they reached the semi-finals of last season’s Champions League.

Gvardiol could not be persuaded by Leeds’ promise that he would become part of Marcelo Bielsa’s first-team squad straight away, while Leipzig may loan him out for the rest of this season.

Leeds are now considering other defensive options and they are a player down at centre-half after Ben White returned to Brighton and Gaetano Berardi was released at the end of last season.

Leeds did replace White with Germany international Robin Koch, but they feel they need more cover in the heart of their defence.

Meanwhile, Leeds’ bid to sign Rodrigo De Paul is at an impasse and they are refusing to meet Udinese’s £35million asking price for the Argentina midfielder.

Leeds have so far indicated they are prepared to pay £22.3million for De Paul and are looking at other midfield targets, such as Rangers' Ryan Kent.

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