Leeds United turn to £10m-rated Bayern midfielder – Marsch ‘wants to increase competition for Phillips’

Lewis Oldham
Leeds target Marc Roca

According to reports, Leeds United have ‘turned their attention’ to Bayern Munich midfielder Marc Roca.

The west Yorkshire side secured their Premier League survival on the final day of the 2021/22 campaign.

Jesse Marsch’s team have been quick to add to their squad ahead of next season. They have already brought in Brenden Aaronson and Rasmus Kristensen from RB Salzburg.

The three longest-serving players at every Premier League club after 2022 exits

Leeds are now looking to sign a new midfielder. Roca progressed through the ranks at Espanyol.

The 25-year-old played 121 times for the Spanish side prior to his move to Bayern Munich in 2020.

The defensive midfielder has barely featured for the German giants over the past two years. He only started four times in the league in 2021/22.

The Athletic are reporting that Leeds ‘want to strengthen their midfield by bringing Roca to Elland Road, increasing the competition and support for England international Kalvin Phillips’.

The Spaniard has three years remaining on his contract and he is available for around £10m. It is said that West Ham have also ‘monitored’ the midfielder.

Phillips is being heavily linked with a move to Man City. Leeds value him at around £60m. The Athletic add that Roca ‘is not being targeted as a replacement’ for their academy product.

Earlier this week, Marsch backed Kristensen to “grow into a great Premier League full-back”:

“Rasmus is a player who developed a lot over the last three years.

“He established himself at Red Bull Salzburg as one of their best players, a very good Champions League full-back, and a Danish international.

“I am totally convinced that he will continue to grow into a great Premier League full-back as well.”

Kristensen, who has previously played for Ajax, had been linked with Borussia Dortmund while Brentford were also reported to be interested.

Leeds director of football Victor Orta told the club’s website: “Other teams wanted him, including teams playing in the Champions League in the top five leagues, but he wants to prove himself in the best league in the world and this makes me very happy with the signing.

“His performances at Red Bull Salzburg made him one of the most influential right-backs in Europe and now in the line-up of his country.”