Leeds United are two bids deep into a summer window chase for Brighton’s Ben White, the young Seagulls defender having just enjoyed a successful season-long loan deal at Elland Road. However, with two bids down and Brighton insisting that White remains their man, The Telegraph’s Mike McGrath states that they will fall back on a former target should the pursuit of White end.
The Whites have reportedly seen bids of £18m and £22.5m knocked back by the south coast side and the West Yorkshire outfit are said to be considering a big-money third bid. Should this third bid be knocked back, with some reports saying it could be a mega-bid of £30m, then Leeds United will turn their attention to a name formerly linked with them – Freiburg’s Robin Koch.
24-year-old, two-cap German international Kock has been at SC Freiburg since late August 2017. He arrived there on a £3.6m transfer from FC Kaiserslautern whom he’d left as a youth player in 2003 before rejoining them on a free transfer in 2015.
Centre-back Koch made 32 appearances in the Bundesliga for Freiburg this season, scoring 1 goal during his time on the pitch. This season’s returns represent a small mosaic of the 87 appearances, 5 goals and 2 assists that he’s made for the German side since signing for them.
Leeds United’s interest isn’t something sudden with McGrath’s news adding to a previous interest that was reported in February this year by the Yorkshire Evening Post’s football correspondent, Graham Smyth who was reporting an interview with Victor Orta.
There was no suggestion that Leeds were readying any particular interest in Koch but the young German is there, in the system, on the back-burner so-to-speak – a part of the 8079-strong scouting database. Commenting at the time and directly on this, Orta said:
“I’ll give you an example, Koch playing at his level now is really difficult for the Championship, it is another level. But we are always evaluating because perhaps, in a moment, he could be available. Or we could get into another league and then he could be available.”
That last sentence uttered by Victor Orta could come true if Mike McGrath is on the button with his news that Leeds United are readying to turn to Koch if their chase for Ben White prove fruitless.