Marcelo Bielsa loves working with younger players and 23-year-old left-back Romain Perraud will be top of his Leeds United wishlist this summer.

That is according to ex-Leeds striker and boyhood fan Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively after Football Insider revealed that Galatasaray had offered a contract to Crystal Palace’s Patrick Van Aanholt.

The Mirror have linked Leeds with an interest in the 30-year-old full-back whose current deal expires at the end of the season.

Brest defender Perraud has also been persistently linked after Phil Hay of the Athletic claimed Leeds have a “genuine interest” in the Frenchman in February.

Whelan observed that both players have their merits but that Bielsa will be more inclined to work with Perraud who has time on his side as the younger or the pair.

He told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs: “You’re always looking at age. You need to look at how they can improve the side and the longevity of their career.

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“I do think Patrick Van Aanholt ticks the most boxes in terms of what we need in that position.

“He’s very attacking-minded. He’s got good stamina and stature so defensively he can do that side of the game. He’s also got pace which troubles both attackers and defenders in the opposition.

“But then when you look at age and progression, maybe that’s why Leeds United are looking at this young French player. In Marcelo Bielsa’s mind, he’s probably a better option. 

“We know the kind of player that Bielsa will love to work with. He likes younger players and building a rapport with the likes of Kalvin Phillips, Shackleton, Raphinha, Koch. It’s all about building the right balance in that side.”

Leeds have fielded Ezgjan Alioski at left-back throughout most of the season.

The 29-year-old has now agreed to join Galatasaray upon the expiry of his contract in June, as first revealed by Football Insider.

In other news, Leeds United plan to offer new big-money terms to one of their top performers this season.