Leeds enter transfer talks for another centre-back and willing to spend £18m

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Leeds are in talks with Dinamo Zagreb over Croatia U21 international defender Josko Gvardiol.

Marcelo Bielsa's side completed the £13m capture of Germany international Robin Koch over the weekend as they bid to avoid the drop on their return to the Premier League.

And after missing out on Brighton's Ben White, the Yorkshire outfit still want another centre-half to boost their defensive options.

Leeds Director of football Victor Orta has opted to make a move for Gvardiol after Arsenal rebuffed his interest in Rob Holding.

Gvardiol, 18, is highly rated in Europe and Bayern Munich made an inquiry about the Croatia Under-21 international in May.

The 6ft 2ins defender can play left back as well as centre back.

Despite having only made 29 appearances across all competitions last term, the Croatian defender has already attracted the interest of a host of big clubs, including Bayern Munich and Manchester City.

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Zagreb are aware of Gvardiol’s rising value and have slapped a price tag of £18m or 20 million euros on his head.

Gvardiol played for Zagreb in their penalty shoot-out win over Cluj in the Champions League second qualifying round on Wednesday.

Leeds are also in negotiations with Udinese over a possible club record £30m move for Argentina midfielder Rodrigo De Paul.

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De Paul, 26, signed a new contract with Udinese in October, tying him to the Serie A club until June 2024, but is understood to be keen to come to the Premier League.

Leeds would take their spending to nearly £120m if they landed De Paul and Gvardiol and they broke their transfer record on Saturday when they sealed Rodrigo’s £27m move to Elland Road from Valencia.

Leeds face defending Premier League champions Liverpool in their first Premier League game in 16 years in 12 days time.

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