Leeds United transfer news: Whites lead midfielder chase, Phillips presses for new signing

After a quiet January transfer window, much of the focus surrounding Leeds United has already shifted towards the business they may do in the summer.

Latest Leeds United rumours.

One name that has already emerged is that of Sampdoria midfielder Mikkel Damsgaard, who is making quite the impact in Serie A this term.

Initial reports from the Daily Star suggested that the Whites were one of a number of Premier League clubs chasing the 20-year-old, with Southampton, West Ham, and Tottenham Hotspur also in the running for his signature.

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But a fresh update from Italian outlet La Repubblica, via Sport Witness, could prove to be music to the ears of Leeds supporters.

Paul Pogba's agent Mino Raiola has suggested that he will continue to 'work in the shadows' regarding the Manchester United midfielder's future. (TuttoMercatoWeb) (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

They suggest that the Yorkshire giants have “moved ahead” in the race to sign the Dane, and have already “tested the waters” by initiating contact over a potential deal.

That fits in with recent comments from financial guru Kieran Maguire, who told Football Insider that the Whites’ strong position in the Premier League table could give Elland Road chiefs the confidence to make tentative enquiries about possible summer deals.

In terms of the kind of player Damsgaard is, he looks to be tailor-made for Marcelo Bielsa’s outlook and style of play.

Young and incredibly versatile, the Denmark international can play anywhere in that midfield engine room, or out on either flank.

Manchester City are eager to sign Romelu Lukaku from Inter Milan this summer. (FC Inter News) (Photo by Chris Ricco/Getty Images)

His stats are good too. So far this season, he has averaged a higher xG than Elland Road stalwart Mateusz Klich, as well making 1.86 more interceptions, and completing 12.2% more dribbles.

Former Leicester City boss Claudio Ranieri is currently his manager in Genoa, and the veteran Italian has already labelled the up-and-coming prospect is “very talented”.

Elsewhere, Kevin Phillips has urged Leeds to bring in cover in the centre of midfield for his namesake Kalvin.

The Whites have struggled without the England international this season, winning just one of the four Premier League matches that he has missed through injury or suspension.

Manchester United are set to reignite their interest in Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho with a £50 million bid. (Eurosport) (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)

And speaking to Football Insider, former Sunderland talisman Phillips has argued that Bielsa's men must look to strengthen in the middle of the park.

He said: “The thing with Leeds is, Kalvin’s missed a few chunks of games this year and they’ve got away with it and dealt with it.

“Maybe Bielsa’s thought that if he does need to miss three or four games then we can cover in that area.

“They’re not going to get relegated, they’re probably not going to get into that top six so they can probably get away with it.

West Ham could make Brentford striker Ivan Toney a transfer target ahead of the next transfer window. (Eurosport) (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

“That might be the thinking but obviously next year that might be an area they need to look at.

“At some point they will lose him again next year, whether that’s through suspension or an injury.

“I think for this season they’ll be fine but I think for next season they’ll look at that area.”

Could Damsgaard be the man who Bielsa is eyeing up to reinforce his ranks in the centre of the park?

We’ve gathered the rest of this afternoon’s Premier League gossip below:

Siem De Jong has revealed that he wishes he had "fought a little longer" for his chance to prove himself at Newcastle United. (Voetbal International) (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)
Newcastle United would be a better purchase option for American billionaire Joseph DaGrosa than Southampton, according to football finance expert Kieran Maguire. (Football Insider) (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
West Ham are willing to sell Andriy Yarmolenko at a loss of £13 million this summer. The Hammers paid £18 million for the Ukrainian. (Football Insider) (Photo by JULIAN FINNEY/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Leeds United have moved ahead in the race to sign Sampdoria midfielder Mikkel Damsgaard this summer. (La Repubblica) (Photo by Paolo Rattini/Getty Images)
Kevin Phillips has urged Leeds United to bring in cover for midfielder Kalvin Phillips in the summer transfer window. He said: “I think for this season they’ll be fine but I think for next season they’ll look at that area.” (Football Insider) (Photo by Rui Vieira - Pool/Getty Images)