Huddersfield Town break transfer record to sign defender

Huddersfield Town have broken their club transfer record to bring Dutch international defender Terence Kongolo back to the Premier League.

Huddersfield Town's Terence Kongolo (Picture: PA)
Huddersfield Town's Terence Kongolo (Picture: PA)

The left-back was one of Town’s star players in last season’s impressive inaugural season in the Premier League.

Having arrived on loan from French club AS Monaco in January, the 24-year-old Holland international bolstered David Wagner’s defence to help secure their top-flight safety.

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Now, Wagner has secured Kongolo’s services on a four-year permanent deal, but has had to break the club’s transfer record.

Manchester United's Scott McTominay (left) and Huddersfield Town's Terence Kongolo battle for the ball (Picture: PA)

That stood at £11.5m which Town paid French club Montpellier for striker Steve Mounie last summer.

Wagner hailed Kongolo’s return as “a big statement for this club”.

And while Town’s official announcement last night said the defender had signed “for a club record fee that will remain undisclosed”, reports from abroad suggested a £17.5m fee was involved.

“I’m so happy that we’ve brought Terence back as a permanent Huddersfield Town player ahead of the 2018/19 Premier League season,” said Wagner. “His signing is a big statement for this club.

“We knew he was a top, top player when we brought him in on loan in January; you don’t play for the Netherlands in a World Cup and win the Dutch league with Feyenoord otherwise.

“However, his performances in our shirt exceeded our expectations.

“Terence gives us a fantastic option at centre back and at left-back and the way that he defends on the front foot is perfect for our style.

“He is also at the start of his career as a 24-year-old and it’s exciting for us to think he can still get better and better from the high level he’s already at.

“We also know what a top, top character he is.

“He is a perfect fit for our changing room, as everyone has seen he has ‘Terrier Spirit’ in his DNA. This is exactly what we need in the players that we bring to this club.

“I also know how popular he is with our supporters, so I’m sure this is a great day for them all ahead of the World Cup too!” he added.

Kongolo – who started his career off in Holland with Feyenoord – made 17 appearances for Town last season, but that was enough to convince Wagner to break the club’s transfer record fee.

The player’s form also saw him earn a recall to the Dutch national side, earning his fourth cap.

Huddersfield have enjoyed a good start to recruitment for their second season in the Premier League.

Before Kongolo’s return was confirmed yesterday, Town brought in Leicester City goalkeeper Ben Hamer, as competition for No 1 Jonas Lossl.

The next arrival at the John Smith’s Stadium could be Stoke City midfielder Ramadan Sobhi, who has held talks over a move to West Yorkshire.

Meanwhile, negotiations between Leeds United and Marcelo Bielsa are set to extend over the weekend with the Elland Road club holding out for a deal which secures the Argentinian as their new head coach.

United are prepared to wait on the conclusion of discussions with Bielsa despite initially aiming to have a first-team boss in place this week with the club at an advanced stage of negotiations over his contract and demands.

The club have been in active talks with Bielsa since the sacking of Paul Heckingbottom a week ago having sounded him out about the possibility of taking charge at Elland Road prior to Heckingbottom’s dismissal.

Bielsa made it clear to Leeds that he was interested in managing in the Championship, despite his reputation as one of the most innovative and respected coaches in the game.

The 62-year-old is understood to have been analysing United’s current squad with a view to highlighting changes needed before the start of next season and has also spoken about potential signings in the event that he and United shake hands on a deal early next week.

Bielsa would want transfers in place prior to the start of pre-season training on June 25 with United’s coaching and training regime destined for a major overhaul if the former Argentina, Chile and Marseille manager agrees to take charge.

Bielsa is yet to formally accept the post and it is understood he and his representatives will review all aspects of United’s proposal in the next 48 hours before reaching a decision.