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‘Bielsa is clearly a big fan’ – Leeds set sights on Premier League player: The Verdict

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Leeds have targeted Karl Darlow as a possible replacement for Kiko Casilla, report Football Insider

The club has been interested in selling the goalkeeper for much of the summer and recently stepped up its attempts to find a buyer for the 32-year-old.

According to Football Insider, Leeds have been interested in Darlow for some time, and he almost joined the club in January before they opted for the Spaniard.

The 28-year-old signed for Newcastle four years ago and has played 59 times for the Magpies, but the vast majority of those matches came in the Championship and upon promotion to the Premier League he became out of favour.

During his spell at Nottingham Forest he was regarded as one of the best young keepers in the division, and Marcelo Bielsa will be hoping he can replicate those performances if he makes the switch to Elland Road.

It is a big call for Leeds to sell a player they signed only six months ago on a four-and-a-half-year deal, and is Darlow up to the task of replacing him?

Our writers discuss.

Toby Wilding

“I can see this being a smart signing for Leeds.

“With the futures of both Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Kiko Casilla seemingly up in the air in the current transfer window, you feel that Leeds will have to sign at least one goalkeeper before the start of the season if they are to push for promotion again next season.

“Having previously played a big role in Newcastle’s Championship promotion campaign in 2016, Darlow is certainly someone who you feel could be capable of stepping in between the posts at Elland Road in the coming campaign.

“After falling out of favour at Newcastle, you feel that both the club and player could be open to such a move: Newcastle in order to raise funds and make space in the squad by moving on someone who is surplus to requirements, and Darlow so as to give himself the opportunity to make a return to regular first-team football.”

George Brooks

“I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kiko Casilla leave Leeds this summer and Darlow could be a decent replacement for him.

“Leeds were linked with the goalkeeper in January before they signed Casilla, so Marcelo Bielsa is clearly a big fan of his.

“At 28, he’s still relatively young for a goalkeeper and he’s got plenty of experience in the Championship with both Newcastle and Nottingham Forest, so he could turn out to be a good signing.

“Darlow has one year remaining on his contract at St James’ Park, so Newcastle might be tempted to sell him this transfer window and that could work to Leeds’ advantage.

“Leeds have got a very talented young goalkeeper on their books on Bailey Peacock-Farrell though, so it will be interesting to see who Bielsa makes his first-choice if they are able to sign Darlow this summer.”

Kealan Hughes

“Darlow would be an upgrade on Casilla. He makes fewer mistakes and has more experience of Championship football, and if he signed he would arguably be one of the best keepers in the division.

“It’s also a deal which could make a lot of financial sense. Leeds reportedly want £4m for Casilla, and having signed him for free that would represent a tidy profit.

“They would also likely be able to pay Darlow less than what Casilla is on, and in return for better performances, it seems a no-brainer.

“The only concern would be the lack of game time Darlow has had in recent years, which can really affect performance. He shouldn’t take long to get back up to speed though so he should be a very good signing.”

ScoopDragon Football News Network