Leeds United Set To Make Key Transfer Decision On £5 Million Star

Championship play-off Finalists Leeds United could be set to lose another key asset this summer with numerous European clubs interested in Ilia Gruev.

The Bulgarian international only joined the Elland Road club last summer but has already picked up a number of suitors within England and abroad with his form last season according to reports.

He made 32 appearances across the Championship season for Daniel Farke’s side, becoming a staple on the German’s team sheet since arriving from Werder Bremen. Gruev was the first scorer in the 4-0 rout of Norwich City which guided Leeds to Wembley before being denied promotion by Southampton.

With the Yorkshire club facing a second season in the second tier, plenty of interest is surrounding their star players from clubs looking to take advantage of their misfortune in the play-off final in May. Crysencio Summerville has been one name repeatedly linked with a move away with interest from Premier League sides such as Liverpool and Chelsea.

Sky Germany are reporting that Champions League runners-up Borussia Dortmund are interested in signing Gruev, with the 24-year-old having been watched by BVB head scout Sven Mislintat during the defeat at Wembley. Other German clubs are also interested in the defensive midfielder.

The report also reveals that Leeds United had previously rejected bids from English top-flight clubs during the Championship season, but due to pressures in complying with financial rules would be ‘willing to talk’ to sides should an acceptable offer be received for the Bulgarian. Transfermarkt currently values the number 44 at 5 million (£4.25 million), with The Peacocks having paid €6.5 million (£5.5 million) for his services from Bremen.

In an open letter to fans, chairman Paraag Marathe revealed that some hard decisions would have to be made in order to comply with sustainability rules this summer. He said [Quotes via Yorkshire Evening Post]: “Well let me lead with this, we are well capitalised from an investment standpoint, we have the funds that we need to do what we need to do. The reality of being in the Championship is that P&S plays a role.

“We obviously also inherited a challenging situation, which you guys have all seen, so there naturally need to be some trade-offs. But also we have a really good team and it’s not just out, it’s ins as well.

“And so looking at scouting possibilities for us and players that we can bring in, but we will have to make some trade-offs because of P&S. But we have the investment commitment that we need to do what we need to do.”

Writer’s View

When a club that were relegated the season before fails to bounce back like Leeds United have, it is natural for other teams to come circling for their prized assets. Ilia Gruev proved his talent in his debut season at Elland Road but with the Wembley heartbreak, he will be just one of many names targetted as clubs scour for deals this window.

With Ethan Ampadu also offering a similar profile to the Bulgarian, Leeds seem to be okay with unloading the number 44 should a suitable offer be made. Getting profit out of him will be likely and should ease some of the financial rules the club have to abide by ahead of next season.

Dortmund will be looking to add more to their youthful side that came so close in the Champions League, and perhaps the 24-year-old could learn a lot from similar players like Emre Can and Marcel Sabitzer to break through at the top rungs of the European game.

About Lewis Gray 160 Articles
1st Class Honours in Multimedia Journalism at Salford University. Writing mainly about League Two.

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