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Leeds United sporting director Victor Orta is reportedly working on three other transfer pursuits after unveiling new signing Max Wober on Tuesday. The Austrian becomes the Whites’ first signing of the January transfer window but he may not be their last if manager Jesse Marsch gets his wish.
Orta has wasted no time in getting the wheels moving this January with Wober’s transfer from RB Salzburg now officially announced. The 24-year-old is the latest in a growing line of players to arrive from Marsch’s former club, following Rasmus Kristensen and Brenden Aaronson.
Although the £14million deal is enough to catch fans’ attention, they may be greeted by more good news before the end of the month amid reports that Leeds are still looking to strengthen the squad and power clear of relegation danger.
Having scored the second-most goals of any team in the bottom half of the Premier League, defence remains the key issue and Leeds’ reported transfer targets reflect that. Wober plays primarily as a left-back but his 6ft 2in frame means he is also comfortable playing at centre-back.
Marsch and Orta may look to recruit another player on the left side of defence this month with utility man Pascal Struijk currently filling in for Junior Firpo, who has broadly failed to impress. Alfonso Pedraza is reportedly a player of interest and he has already spent one season at Elland Road, doing so on loan in 2017.
The Spaniard took time to fight for his spot but he is into his fourth season as a regular with Villarreal and he could provide a more attacking option than Leeds currently have at left-back. Orta may have his work cut out negotiating a deal, however, as the 26-year-old signed a new contract until 2026 in May last year.
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Defensive reinforcements are set to be a priority for the Whites this month and they could snap up one for the future in Ivan Fresneda. The 18-year-old is supposedly being monitored by the likes of Liverpool, Newcastle and Everton but Orta is also in the mix for a right-back who has made a big impression in his handful of La Liga appearances for Real Valladolid.
Current right-back option Kristensen has struggled to set the team alight since his summer arrival and 31-year-old Luke Ayling has been restricted to just two Premier League starts all season. Fresneda has a reported £26.4m release clause which could force the Whites to think twice, unless Orta is able to negotiate a lower fee.
With another eye on the future, Sky Germany claim that Leeds are also tracking a third target in Ardon Jashari. Like Fresneda, the race for his signature is set to be competitive with RB Leipzig, Eintracht Frankfurt and Celtic also in the hunt for the 20-year-old midfielder, who already has two caps for Switzerland.
Jashari plays for Luzern in his home country and the manager claims he is ‘the greatest talent in Switzerland’. Marsch would surely welcome new bodies in midfield with a lack of depth behind the starting duo of Tyler Adams and Marc Roca.
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