Leeds United

Leeds United: Conor McGilligan outlines contract ‘problem’ with target Lewis O’Brien

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Journalist Conor McGilligan has detailed an update on potential Leeds United January transfer target Lewis O’Brien. 

The Huddersfield Town midfielder was reportedly targeted by Marcelo Bielsa’s side throughout the summer, but when the transfer window closed at the end of August, O’Brien ultimately remained with the Championship outfit.

In the weeks since, it has been reported that the 22-year-old is now in talks to sign a new contract at the John Smith’s Stadium.

While speaking on the One Leeds Fan Channel, McGilligan outlined what this could mean for Leeds’ pursuit of the midfielder.

He said: “It’s big news, really, because if he does sign this contract extension, it doesn’t mean that Leeds United are not going to be able to go back in for Lewis O’Brien, of course not.

“But what it does mean is, if we’re haggling over £4m, which it seemed Leeds United were over the summer months, this is going to be very, very difficult.

“Because if it’s sort of £6-8m and Leeds don’t value him at that price, that’s going to be a problem, because the contract extension – which you probably would look to as a minimum of three years, especially for a youngster securing his future – is going to potentially put him up to that £10m bracket that Huddersfield Town were valuing him at the start. So Lewis O’Brien, that’s going to be difficult.”

TIF Thoughts on Lewis O’Brien and Leeds United…

As McGilligan suggests, Leeds did pull out of the deal due to an unwillingness to meet Huddersfield’s summer valuation of the midfielder. The Athletic’s Phil Hay explained via a tweet, which said: “They’re not stretching to £8m+ for O’Brien.”

According to Yorkshire Live, O’Brien signed his current deal in summer 2019, and that deal will expire next summer. However, the club do also have the option to extend it by another year.

Having won Town’s 2019/20 Player of the Year award, the 22-year-old’s talent is evident for all to see. Naturally, that would suggest his club will want full value if they do decide to sell.

With a contract set to be offered, and that extension option also on the table, it looks as though Leeds will have to pay more than they had first hoped if they want this deal to get across the line in the future.

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