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1st May, 2017 | 1:43pm

Leeds set to rival European trio for 6ft 8in colossus after scouting mission - report

By Will Butcher

Leeds are weighing up a move for Finland sensation Aapo Halme but face competition from three European sides, according to a report.

HITC Sport understands that Leeds are keeping tabs on the 6ft 8in giant, after scouting the 18-year-old defender on numerous occasions since his breakthrough into the first team.

It is believed that Leeds are joined by Serie A outfit Sassuolo, Bundesliga side Hoffenheim as well as Dutch giants Ajax in being credited with an interest for the HJK Helsinki youngster.

Despite his tender age, Halme has made 23 senior appearances already for the club, as well as representing Finland’s Under-19 side four times as he continues to impress.

Halme even found the back of the net for the first time at senior level last month, as he scored in the win against Helsinki’s rivals JJK in a 5-1 win away from home.

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With only a year and a half left on his current deal, Helsinki could be tempted to cash in on the defender who has been likened to former Liverpool star Sami Hyypia.

If they want to avoid losing their rising star on a free, Leeds could secure a cut-price deal for the youngster but will face tough competition from Europe.

Football Insider verdict:

Leeds are in need of a new central defender. Kyle Bartley looks unlikely to sign permanently as he is yet to confirm a deal beyond his current loan spell, leaving the Yorkshire giants with just Liam Cooper and Pontus Jansson at the heart of the Whites defence. The Whites are known for their ability to bring through young stars, with Lewie Coyle, Charlie Taylor and Ronaldo Vieira all starring in Garry Monk’s side this season after being brought through the Thorp Arch youth academy. Leeds desire to turn potential into quality would see Hlame thrive at Elland Road, should he join Leeds in the summer.

In other Leeds transfer news, this BBC pundit has revealed the bargain price Leeds could have signed this singer for in January.

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