According to reports, Leeds United have cooled their interest in signing Fiorentina midfielder Erick Pulgar.
Reports in recent weeks have claimed that the Chile international has been on the radar of Marcelo Bielsa’s side in this January transfer window, as they look to bring in some mid-season reinforcements in their first campaign back in the Premier League.
But now, Italian publication TuttoMercatoWeb (via Sport Witness) claim that Leeds have lost interest in signing Pulgar, at least for this January window. The report claims that moves for the 6 foot 2 ace and Udinese midfielder could potentially be revisited in the summer.
After weeks of speculation about Pulgar’s potential arrival at Elland Road, it appears any move seems dead on the water for now.
And that will no go down too well with Bielsa, who’s had the familiar trouble of not having someone to really step in for Kalvin Phillips whenever needed.
Pascal Struijk has endured a difficult time at Leeds this season, being asked to fill in central defence and then in the holding midfield role too, and Pulgar’s signing would have ensured the Whites had a quality replacement in Phillips’ absence.
Speaking earlier this month, Darrent Bent spoke of just how difficult it is for someone to cover for Phillips. He said: “It is a unique role, and you think who else can they get in that position who can do the job effectively. The answer to that is no one. He’s that good of a player that it’s hard to replace him. You don’t just get players like that, it’s not that easy.”
In Pulgar, Bielsa would have had the perfect man to do the job. As well as making more than a tackle and interception a piece, he’s supremely composed on the ball, boasting an 86% pass accuracy. All of those key stats compare favourably with Phillips, who whilst he makes more than an extra tackle than Pulgar, has the exact same pass accuracy per match.
Leeds and Victor Orta will just be hoping that Phillips can stay injury free until the end of the season. At the moment, the club’s stance on Pulgar seems to be a huge blunder, and Bielsa certainly won’t be happy about it.