Top-flight side ready to ambush Leeds bid to sign international midfielder - reports
By Russell Edge
Leeds United’s transfer of Japanese midfielder Yosuke Ideguchi is under threat with Belgian side Sint Truiden lining up a bid of their own, according to a report.
Japanese sports newspaper Sankei Sports (commonly known as Sanspo) claim on their website that the top flight Belgian side are keen on signing the Gamba Osaka man, despite Leeds having appeared on the verge of securing his signature.
The chairman of the Japanese side previously confirmed that Leeds were set to make an imminent bid back in September, with the player himself confirming that he was looking to secure a move abroad.
Sports Nippon had reported that the Whites were willing to meet the £700,000 release clause in the 21-year-old’s contract, although it would now appear they have serious competition for the Japanese international.
The youngster only made his debut for his country back in June, but has already scored once in his four international appearances.
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On the domestic stage, he has made 33 appearances for his club across all competitions this season, scoring five goals and chipping in with nine assists.
Football Insider verdict
News of Sint Truiden’s interest in Ideguchi will come as a huge blow to Leeds, who seemed to have this deal in the bag last month. The Whites are looking to expand their reach across Asia and the signing of one of Japan’s most promising youngsters would have given them great exposure. However, it is all hanging in the balance now, and Leeds must convince the youngster that Yorkshire is the best place for him to develop. There will also be the difficulty of securing a permit for him to play in the UK, although having broken into the Japanese international side, they might be able to argue for an exception. It will be nervy times ahead for the club.
In other Leeds United news, a study has revealed which player has been the Whites’ top attacker this season.