By Alex Stevens

A defender linked with a move to Leeds has claimed that “concrete bids” from “big clubs” were tabled him for him in the January transfer window.

Sweden international Linus Wahlqvist admitted the strong interest from some top clubs but refused to divulge their identity.

Swedish publication Aftonbladet claimed last week the Norrkoping defender might be heading to Elland Road after he was omitted from the team for a glamour clash agaiinst Shakhtar Donetsk.

This comes after Belgian outlet Voetbal Belgie reported that Leeds and Stoke have been keeping close tabs on the Swedish right-back.

Now Wahlqvist, who has already been capped five times by his country, has given his version of events following the widespread speculation about his future.

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He told Swedish publication Fotboll Direkt: “I can only say that there have been concrete bids from fine clubs. But I have a plan that I’ve worked for and we turned these down.

“For me it’s important to get playing time. Some of these clubs are big clubs, some had the chance of playing time anyway. But it’s the big picture.”

Fotball Direkt report that Wahlqvist, 20, is rated at around £1.8milliion by Swedish club Norrkoping.

Leeds already have two Swedish players in their ranks in the shape of striker Marcus Antonsson and key defender Pontus Jansson.

Marcus Antonsson has had a difficult first season since arriving from FF Kalmar for around £3million while centre-back Jansson had been such success since joining on a season-long loan from Torino that he has agreed a permanent contract that comes into effect for three years from the summer.

Jansson was part of the Leeds team that suffered a rare defeat on Sunday when they came unstuck in a 2-1 defeat to Huddersfield.

Antonsson, who has slipped behind Chris Wood and Souleymane Doukara in the striker pecking order, was an unused substitute at the John Smiths Stadium.

In other Leeds news, there has been a finale in a major deal after a £7million Leeds bid was tabled.

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