Leeds are said to be ready to battle against Premier League sides Southampton and Aston Villa for the signature of Croatian midfielder Josip Vukovic, according to talkSPORT.

The battling midfielder plays for Portuguese top-flight side C.S Maritimo and was a key player in the clubs survival in the Primeira Liga last season. The 27-year-old defensive midfielder has represented Croatia at U17 and U19 level and would provide adequate squad depth for all 3 sides.

Leeds’ interest comes with the uncertainty surrounding midfielder Kalvin Phillips’ future, with the 23-year-olds departure potentially paving the way for a move.  Vukovic stands at 6ft tall and is a no-nonsense midfielder – an attribute that would thrive in an Elland Road atmosphere.

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The Croatian has previously attracted the interest from English sides, being scouted by Watford, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and even former Premier League champions Leicester City. The midfielder is said to be keen on a move to England, reportedly turning down offers across Europe including from the likes of Benfica in Portugal and Lille in France.

The player would reportedly be available for around £1.5 million – a nominal fee when taking into regard the bizarre English market, but could also be deemed risky for a player who is nearing the age of 30 and is unproven in his ability in England. Never the less, such attention on a player doesn’t come without reason and could prove to be just what these teams need ahead of the new season.

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