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Leeds set their “sights” on Morten Hjulmand

Leeds United sporting director Victor Orta appears to be eyeing a move for Lecce midfielder, Morten Hjulmand, albeit with the Yorkshire side set to face competition in the race for the Dane.

What’s the word?

According to journalist Rudy Galetti, the Whites are believed to be one of a handful of Premier League clubs who are interested in signing the 23-year-old, alongside both Nottingham Forest and Leicester City.

The transfer insider revealed on Twitter: “Some [English] clubs (including #NFFC, #LCFC and #LUFC) have put Morten #Hjulmand in their sights. The contract of the #Lecce player expires in 2024, with the option to extend the agreement for 1 year more: evolving situation”.

This comes amid reports in Italy that claimed the 6 foot 1 ace – who made the move to Italy two years ago – could be the subject of an 11m (£10m) offer from Southampton.

Ideal Klich heir

Orta may well be plotting to strengthen in the centre of the park due to the dearth of options in that role at present, with the current squad having only been further depleted by the departure of Mateusz Klich to MLS side DC United.

Although the Poland international had fallen down the pecking order prior to his exit – after failing to start a top-flight game this season – the 32-year-old had previously been a key figure under former boss Marcelo Bielsa, notably providing 11 goal involvements in 45 Championship games during the 2019/20 promotion-winning campaign.

The experienced playmaker subsequently chipped in with four goals and five assists the following season in the top tier, having also impressed as a result of his relentless work ethic, after averaging 1.4 tackles per game last term from his 33 league appearances.

Trying to replace a figure who can impact proceedings at both ends of the pitch is a tough ask, although the aforementioned Hjulmand could seemingly prove a dream heir, with the “tough” ace – as described by journalist Henrik Fallesen – also able to offer creative quality as well as a defensive nous in front of the back four.

The former Admira Wacker man has enjoyed a fine campaign thus far after averaging 2.6 tackles and 2.1 interceptions per game from his 16 appearances, while also laying on three assists to illustrate his ball-playing prowess.

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Such all-around quality has also seen the Kastrup-born ace rank in the top 11% in Europe for assists among those in his position, as well as in the top 2% for interceptions and the top 16% for tackles made.

That would appear to indicate that Jesse Marsch’s side could well be able to snap up something of a hidden gem if they can bring Hjulmand to Elland Road this month, with such an addition likely to help fill the Klich-shaped void in the side.