Leeds United have decided that Raphael Guerreiro is the “ideal fit” to solve the left-back issues at the club, according to TEAMtalk.
The Borussia Dortmund left-back is in Qatar at the World Cup with Portugal currently, playing the full 90 minutes as they beat Ghana 3-2 on Thursday (24 November), but his contract is expiring in the summer.
He is able to speak to sides about a free transfer from 1 January, but a switch in the winter is also on the table for the Whites with the club ready to take him in either of the next two transfer windows, while a left-back on loan is also an option.
TEAMtalk’s transfer insider Graeme Bailey said: ““As it stands, it appears Guerreiro is not in a hurry to depart Dortmund. Despite no new deal agreed, he knows clubs such as Leeds are watching. Indeed they were in attendance in the last few weeks.
“He is going to get through the World Cup finals and then assess the situation. Dortmund have a host of issues to resolve, like [Youssoufa] Moukoko and [Jude] Bellingham, but Guerreiro is another very much towards the top of their agenda.
“Leeds like Guerreiro a lot, and they think he would be an ideal fit. If he was available in January, I believe they would do it – but they are happy to wait for him until the summer.
“However, I would not rule out the possibility of a loan move although Pascal Struijk has been performing well – he is very much a defensive full-back rather than a wing-back and I believe they may look for another option, although the return of Stuart Dallas could get them through until the summer.”
It appears that the Leeds United hierarchy have identified the man they want, and it has only taken them a year and a half of the failed Junior Firpo experiment to do so.
The defence is in a mess currently, with Struijk required full time out wide and the central partnerships offering very little.
A new left-back in January would help give Jesse Marsch more to work with as he looks to keep the club away from the threat of relegation, and would free up Struijk to help in the middle.
Based on some of the recent performances it is difficult to see one addition as enough to fix everything, so the prospect of a centre-back arrival would also reassure fans.
Charlie Cresswell, Leo Hjelde, and Struijk are likely the central options of the future, but United need somebody to fix things now.
If Victor Orta can persuade Dortmund and Guerreiro with a reasonable fee and a solid contract then securing the Portuguese international sooner rather than later would be a boost, but if they have to wait until the summer a loan option would be better than nothing.
Somebody clearly should have been secured at left-back by the end of the summer window to avoid the current defensive predicament, but better late than never if the decision-makers are ready to fix the problem this time around.
In other Leeds United news, a Whites start was branded “terrible” live on ITV for coming off second best to a Manchester United flop.