Danny Mills believes Marcelo Bielsa will want to mould Leeds United target Josko Gvardiol into a long-term starter.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Leeds defender delivered his verdict as the Whites close in on the 18-year-old.

This site revealed Leeds are willing to pay Dinamo Zagreb a fee of up to £18m including add-ons for Gvardiol and will offer the Croatian a significant pay rise.

Bielsa believes the youngster can provide competition at centre back and left back.

After failing in their attempts to bring Ben White back to Elland Road on a permanent deal, Leeds signed German international Robin Koch to bolster their defensive options.

Mills told Football Insider: “I think it’s Bielsa’s scouting network is far reaching, we know that.

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“This would be a signing for the future not necessarily one for now. It’s a little bit of back up, isn’t it?

“He’s somebody he can potentially mould to come into the first team maybe next year or even the year after when he gets into his twenties.

“The Spanish influence at the football club with Victor Orta as technical director and then there’s Bielsa and all his staff, it’s no surprise.

“I told you early on that I wouldn’t be surprised if signings come from left field this transfer window.”

Gvardiol has played 13 times for Dinamo Zagreb after making his first team debut in November of last year and helped the club win the Croatian top division last season.

The versatile defender has also represented Croatia’s under 21 side twice.

He made his Champions League debut last month against Cluj and scored in the penalty shootout as Dinamo Zagreb won 6-5 on penalties.

In other Leeds United news, a top pundit has been left wowed by what he’s seen by new Whites signing saying it ‘excites me’.