Leeds United are eyeing a move for Croatia international Borna Barisic in the summer transfer window.
With Gjanni Alioski’s long-term future not yet secure – the latest report has suggested the Whites are keen on tying him down to a new deal at the Premier League club – it’s no surprise that Bielsa’s side are keen on landing a new first-team left-back.
And now, according to Football Insider, Victor Orta is plotting a move for Barisic this summer as he looks to strengthen Bielsa’s options in that left-back position.
The report claims that “the Yorkshire giants have made a new senior left-sided defender a priority in the summer window”, and that “international broker Simon Conning has been mandated to sound out interest in Barisic”.
Last season saw him deliver a whopping 14 assists in all competitions, providing a real threat down the left-hand side and coming up with some real telling contributions in the big games – in Rangers’ Europa League run, the Croatian scored three times and provided another three assists too.
The man who signed him for his former club, Osijek, Zoran Zekic, said: “We used to make a made a plan for every game and every game we made that plan 90 per cent around playing it to Borna Barisic. He is technically good, understands football, his timing is very good too and he has great crossing ability. He played maybe 45 games in the season and for 40 of them he was the best player.”
The fact that a left-back was a mahjor part of his team’s game-plan is a major statement on just how influential he can be, and is surely another big reason why Bielsa will be excited at the prospect of managing him at Elland Road.
In comparison, Alioski managed just two goals and three assists in the Premier League last season despite playing 36 games at both left-back and even further forward as a left-winger too – a measly return when compared to Barisic, and the kind of offensive football Bielsa’s side like to play.
A swoop for Barisic would be an exciting one given his current attacking exploits, and it is one that should have Bielsa absolutely buzzing.