Exclusive: Leeds make move to sign PL giants centre-back as preliminary talks begin
Leeds United have registered their interest in Arsenal defender Rob Holding as they work on alternatives to Ben White, Football Insider understands.
The Yorkshire giants have been unable to agree a deal with Brighton for White despite offering up to £30million for their 2019-20 loan sensation.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider the club have been told in preliminary discussions with Arsenal that Holding, 24, will be made available for a move this window.
The Gunners are closing in on a new centre-back signing and are ready to offload their 2016 signing from Bolton Wanderers.
That has given Leeds encouragement over a deal although Holding is regarded as one of their back-ups to White and not a first choice.
One of Marcelo Bielsa’s main priorities ahead of the new season is to recruit a senior centre-back to partner skipper Liam Cooper.
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Following the expiry of Gaetano Berardi’s contract and the knee injury that has ruled him out until well into next year, Cooper is the only experienced central defender at Leeds.
Holding made 23 appearances in all competitions for Arsenal last season but only six league starts.
During his four years at Emirates Stadium, the England Under-21 cap has played 78 times for the club without really establishing himself as a first choice.
Bielsa’s preference is to sign a young centre-back who has he can mould into his team’s style of play and has his best years ahead of him.
In other Leeds United news, the club have agreed a blockbuster new deal and an announcement is imminent.