Leeds targets £ 30m Ligue 1 powerhouse as Kalvin Phillips competition

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Leeds have joined the race to sign Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare as they look to strengthen their midfield options this summer, according to a report.

Soumare was a prime target for Newcastle in January 2020, with Steve Bruce admitting they had a plane booked for him before he changed his mind.

However, a report from the weekend claimed it was Leicester, now leading the chase to sign the France U21 star.

Fabrizio Romano claims the Foxes had already contacted their agent about a possible summer deal.

With just 12 months remaining on his current contract for this summer, Lille is expected to cash in on Soumare.

Now according to Football InsiderThis has also piqued Leeds interest. Reports at the weekend claimed that Marcelo Bielsa has drawn up a list of summer goals for Leeds, raising hopes that he will stay in charge. And with midfield coverage and competition as his number one priority, Soumare has been mentioned as a target.

Bielsa’s team have done well on their return to the Premier League, but have struggled every time the Kalvin Phillips axis fails. The England star has missed his last two matches due to a combination of fitness issues and personal reasons. And in both games, Leeds have suffered losses at Arsenal and Wolves.

Leeds played defender Pascal Struijk in the role of Phillips at the Emirates Stadium. While the Dutchman has impressed in the middle, he seems more uncomfortable playing later.

That was recognized by Bielsa in Molineux, and young Jamie Shackleton took on the role. While he did well, it is clearly a position Leeds feels they need to strengthen.

Boubakary Soumare Lille

There would be little doubt that Soumare would offer Leeds serious coverage and competition for Phillips if he signed. In fact, he could even give his team a new dynamic with Mateusz Klich suffering a drop in form recently. The fall of the Polish saw him, at one point, lose his place in the starting eleven of Bielsa.

Soumare is a powerful midfield enforcer, who has been compared to N’Golo Kante in the past. The 21 year old He joined Lille on a free transfer from PSG in the summer of 2017 and has played 93 games.

Indeed, Soumare has been a major factor in Lille’s push for Ligue 1 glory this season. As such, its shape is likely to attract more interest before the summer window opens.

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Bielsa plans Leeds transfer offensive

Meanwhile, Leeds have been given hope that Bielsa will stay in front for a fourth season in office.

United’s return to prominence in the Premier League this season has been planned by their enigmatic coach. Bielsa.

Bielsa has been praised for the impact he had on a team that looks a lot like the one he took on in 2018.

Bielsa is a cult hero in West Yorkshire, though Fans face an agonizing wait each year to see if he will stay with the club..

This is because the manager only signed one-year extensions towards the latter part of the campaign.

Now, according to a reliable source, Leeds’ summer transfer plans have given an indication that Bielsa will stay.

READ MORE: Leeds star offers ‘something different’ and ‘deserves’ England call

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