Leeds United and Salernitana are in continuing talks over a transfer for Leo Hjelde with the Whites keen to strike a loan-to-buy deal, as per Italian outlet Tutto Salernitana.
Former Celtic youngster Hjelde has been on the books at Elland Road since signing from the Bhoys in August 2021. The Norway U21 international could be on the move again though amid interest from Italy.
Salernitana were said to be in talks with the 19-year-old Norwegian in a report from Sky Sports (via the Daily Record, Transfer News Live, 28.06.23, 11:30) last month.
However, Salernitana’s initial approach for a loan seems not to have met with Leeds United’s liking – the Whites preferring a permanent deal. Salernitana were not willing to do business this way and instead propsed a loan with a purchase option.
Now though, things seem to have changed. According to Tutto Salernitana, the West Yorkshire club are ‘willing to take a small step back‘ but that Leeds United are insisting that this option ‘becomes an obligation’.
Leeds United are said to be looking for a payment of €2million (£1.7million) in order to get Hjelde off the books at Elland Road, but also with ‘an attached percentage on the resale.’
Tutto Salernitana state that there could be quick movement on the deal, which they say ‘could go through as early as next week’.
Hjelde on the move?
Hjelde was highly thought of at Celtic, and he is highly thought of at Leeds United. However, needs must and relegation to the Championship means that certain players will be on the move. Hjelde appears to be one of those.
Last season, the talented 19-year-old featured in 12 matches in the Championship for Rotherham United. He made the Premier League matchday squad a number of times for Leeds United. Other than that, his appearances have mainly been for the Whites in the Premier League 2 competition.
He is a versatile player, equally at home as a left-sided central defender or pushed out further as a left-back. He is strong in the tackle as well as being good with the ball at his feet. Schooled in the Bielsa style of football, he is capable of bringing the ball out from the back.
For such a small outlay, Salernitana could have a good player on their books. Leeds United’s insistence on a resale clause is sensible, it is something they have used before with Elia Caprile’s transfer to Bari. This was a decision that could pay dividends for the Whites, Caprile recently being bought by Napoli.