Leeds United are interested in a deal to bring Florian Grillitsch to Elland Road in the summer transfer window.
That’s according to a report by the Daily Mail, who claim that Leeds have joined fellow Premier League sides Arsenal, Newcastle United, West Ham and Everton in the race for the Hoffenheim midfielder – who looks set to become available on a free transfer upon the expiry of his contract with the Bundesliga outfit at the end of the season.
The report goes on to state that the 26-year-old’s representatives have sounded out a number of top-flight teams regarding a potential summer switch, while several unnamed German and Spanish sides are also thought to be keen on a move for the Austria international.
Finally, the Daily Mail claim that Victor Orta has identified the defensive midfielder as a potential replacement for Kalvin Phillips, who has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
While it is undeniable that losing the services of Phillips this summer would come as a huge blow to Jesse Marsch and his side, should Orta be able to get a deal for Grillitsch over the line as the 26-year-old’s replacement, it would certainly ease the loss of the Whites’ academy graduate.
Indeed, over his 18 Bundesliga appearances this season, the £14.4m-rated midfielder has been imperious in front of the Hoffenheim defence, making an average of 1.6 interceptions, 2.1 tackles, two clearances and winning 4.9 duels – at a success rate of 60% – per game.
Furthermore, the £35k-per-week Austrian has also completed an average of 51.9 passes, 6.6 long balls, 4.2 chipped passes and 0.6 key passes per fixture – demonstrating his quarterback-esque distribution of the ball.
These returns have seen the 26-year-old average a quite spectacular SofaScore match rating of 7.21, not only ranking him as Sebastian Hoeness’ second-best performer in the German top flight but also the joint 17th-best player in the division as a whole.
As such, it will perhaps come as no surprise to learn that Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann is a huge fan of the midfielder, with the 34-year-old stating back in 2020:
“Grillitsch is one of the best players in the Bundesliga, and he’s a bit under the radar. He still has a few construction sites, he knows that, I’ve told him that often enough. But he is an exceptional footballer and has an incredible gift for setting the rhythm of the game.”
Indeed, with this description also quite easily being applicable to Phillips, it is not difficult to understand why Orta would be considering a move for Grillitsch to replace the England international this summer, although, a move for the Hoffenheim midfield marshal would all but confirm the £45m-rated man’s departure.