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Marvin Bakalorz denies he’s heading to Leeds
Tuesday, 27th Mar 2018 21:34

There have been contradictory reports from two rival German websites today about whether Leeds are looking to sign Marvin Bakalorz from Hannover 96, but the man himself says he knows nothing about it.

First up was the ‘Fussball Transfers’ website, who reported yesterday that his current club Hannover would consider a bid of £7million for the 28-year-old central midfielder and that Leeds are considering an offer. Bakalorz has made 22 appearances in the Bundesliga this season after playing a key role in Hannover's promotion campaign in 2016/7, though he currently seems a little out of favour and has only started two of their last nine league matches.

But today this story was then contradicted by ‘Sport Buzzer’ who reported that Hannover and Bakalorz have opened discussions about an extension to the player’s current contract (which is due to expire in the summer of 2019) and pointed out that the German club turned down approaches from Everton and Galatasaray during the January transfer window. And they quoted Bakalorz as saying "I'm totally taken aback, I do not know anything about it. [The chance to move] abroad is always interesting, but I see my future in Hannover because I feel comfortable here. It's a cool city, a cool team, a cool club - I see my future here."

£7m would be quite a lot of money for a championship club, and if there is any truth in this story it might be a sign of a change of approach to our transfer dealings as we prepare to overhaul the squad for next season. Andrea Radrizzani has said he wants to trim the size of the squad, while Eddie Gray has called for the club to invest in quality rather than quantity. In other words getting rid of as much dross as we can and making a few big signings who are better than the players we already have, rather than stockpiling squad members, and giving some of the younger players a chance whenever we need them to cover for injuries and suspensions.

But if we’re going to make fewer signings then the priority should be to look for players in the positions where we’re currently a bit lacking, and you’d have to question whether we need yet another central midfielder. It’s possible that we might be looking to offload O’Kane and maybe also Phillips, as both have had their critics this season, but even then we would still have a number of options in that area of the field. We’re more in need of another striker and a goalkeeper, and maybe another left-back if we can’t get De Bock to wake up a bit.

And would Bakalorz even come to Leeds if he had various other options to play for teams already in the top division of their respective countries? All things considered, this particular transfer seems unlikely to come off, but we continue to hope that Leeds will show a bit more ambition as we rebuild the squad for another promotion challenge.

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