It has been reported by Phil Hay that Marcelo Bielsa does hold an interest in O’Brien, who has been playing for Huddersfield over the last two years, but the Terriers are holding firm on their £10 million valuation.
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O’Brien would likely arrive as a backup to Kalvin Phillips, considering that they play in similar positions as well as how impressively Phillips performed last season, but it would provide some much-needed cover in the Leeds side given their performances when Phillips was not available.
McGilligan spoke about Leeds’ interest in O’Brien.
“Leeds may not value him that highly. An initial bid of £2-3 million was rejected, the art of negotiation by Leeds United, there.
“They may have moved on again, they may not be willing to pay £10 million-plus, which is what Huddersfield Town, I can tell you for a fact, are going to demand for Lewis O’Brien.
“He’s their prized asset, they won’t let him go in this current market for anything less than £10 million, he’s got English tax on himself as well, which is always higher and higher and higher.”
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Leeds United’s options in the centre of midfield last season were Phillips, Mateusz Klich or Stuart Dallas, although Jamie Shackleton and Adam Forshaw are set to be available for this season. Despite this, interest in O’Brien may not have come as a huge shock to many Leeds fans considering who his manager is – Leeds former Under-23s manager Carlos Corberan – who will know and understand Bielsa’s methods.
O’Brien has 80 Championship games under this belt and is still just 22 years old, so Bielsa would have plenty of time to work with him and mould him into the player he wants O’Brien to turn into, and for £10 million, the Argentine may be able to transform the midfielder into a much better player for what could be a decent outlay in the long term.