BBC Sport journalist Adam Pope has delivered an update on why Leeds United’s pursuit of Lewis O’Brien didn’t come to fruition over the course of the summer transfer window.
Huddersfield Town chairman Phil Hodgkinson recently opened up about why he didn’t let the midfielder go this summer, explaining: “To be honest with you, it wasn’t anything to do with the valuation. The fourth offer we rejected was £13m.
“From my perspective, it’s about how much of that £13m is guaranteed, it’s about how much of it is add-ons and what those add-ons are made up of. It didn’t work for us as a football club, and my concern was the fact Leeds wouldn’t go up to a structure we wanted, which was a reasonable one. Even the player’s agent said so.
“We weren’t that far apart on the guaranteed amount and the structure of the add-ons, we weren’t that far apart, it was a million pounds in reality.”
Responding to a question from a fan on Twitter, Pope said: “It sounds like the structure of the deal rather than the valuation – how much up front/add ons etc – was the issue for Town.”
As is the case with most modern transfers, not all of a transfer fee is paid up front, instead being divided up into instalments and potential bonuses.
What will have Marcelo Bielsa most gutted is Hodgkinson’s admission that the two clubs weren’t far apart in coming to terms on a deal, and he would have secured the midfielder he has seemingly been after all summer given what Alan Nixon said.
In even more gutting news, Yorkshire Live recently revealed that O’Brien is now actually in talks with the Terriers over extending his contract at the club, making it that much more difficult to sign him.
Huddersfield Town writer Steven Chicken has previously talked about the midfielder having the potential to be Premier League player, and he sounds like the kind of all-action star Bielsa would have loved at Elland Road.
He said: “O’Brien is a left-footed, tough-tackling central midfielder. Former Huddersfield boss Danny Cowley often praised O’Brien as being ‘like having two players’, with the midfielder receiving particular praise from his manager and fans alike for his ability and willingness to rush back and win the ball with a clean sliding tackle whenever his side were caught on the counter-attack.
“He certainly has the potential to be (a Premier League player), if he’s not already.”
This latest update on the O’Brien saga is sure to leave Bielsa gutted.