Leeds United now look as though they could fail in their bid to bring Hwang Hee-chan to Elland Road this summer.
That’s according to a report by TEAMtalk, who claim that, following Phil Hay’s claim in his latest article for The Athletic that Jesse Marsch is interested in Hwang’s signing but not at an inflated fee, Victor Orta would be willing to pay up to £20m in order to prise the winger away from Wolverhampton Wanderers over the remainder of the summer transfer window.
However, with reports suggesting that Bruno Lage’s side would be looking for a figure in the region of £25m in order to sanction the South Korean’s sale, coupled with the Portuguese manager recently stating his desire to keep the 26-year-old at Molineux beyond Thursday’s transfer deadline, the chances of Leeds signing Hwang would not appear overly positive.
While it is true that Leeds have not exactly struggled for goals so far this season, with the Whites having already found the back of the net 10 times over their five fixtures in 2022/23, with both Patrick Bamford and Joe Gelhardt already struggling with injuries this term, it is not difficult to understand why Marsch would like to bring a new forward to the club in the coming days.
Indeed, with Bamford managing just seven starts in the Premier League last season due to a series of knocks, Marsch was often left with no choice but to field winger Daniel James through the middle – a situation which, considering the Welshman’s returns of just four league goals, is evidently a circumstance the American manager would like to avoid as much as possible this time out.
And, considering the fact the 48-year-old coach already has a relationship with Hwang, coupled with the fact the forward can operate on either wing and as a centre-forward, it would very much appear as if the Korean would be a player Marsch would welcome with open arms at Elland Road prior to Thursday’s transfer deadline.
Indeed, the £14.4m-rated forward was one of Marsch’s stars during his time in charge at Red Bull Salzburg, scoring 16 goals and registering 24 assists over 43 appearances for the Austrian Bundesliga side – with the 26-year-old averaging a rather remarkable direct goal contribution for every 66 minutes of football played under the American.
As such, should Marsch believe that he can help the £19k-per-week talent who Erling Haaland dubbed “crazy” and Peter Zeidler labelled “brutal” refind this level of form after a somewhat disappointing campaign with Wolves – scoring five goals in 30 league appearances – the 47-cap international would very much appear to be a dream signing for the 48-year-old coach.
However, with Lage appearing intent to keep hold of the Korean, coupled with Orta only being willing to offer £20m for the 26-year-old – £5m short of Wolves’ reported asking price – it would seem, at present, as if Hwang linking up with Marsch once more at Leeds looks unlikely – an outcome that would certainly come as a huge blow to the former Salzburg manager.