Former Aston Villa striker Gabby Agbonlahor believes Huddersfield Town could be tempted into selling star midfielder Lewis O’Brien this summer, speaking to Football Insider.
The 22-year-old has been the subject of interest from Premier League duo Leeds United and Crystal Palace this summer, but it’s the former that have pursued him the furthest and have lodged multiple offers in a bid to lure him to Elland Road.
Making 80 Championship appearances in the last two seasons, O’Brien has become a key part of the Terriers’ midfield alongside the likes of Jonathan Hogg and Juninho Bacuna, breaking into the first-team squad after spending a successful 2018/19 campaign out on loan at Bradford City.
12 of these 25 Huddersfield Town facts are fake – Can you identify them?
As per Football Insider, the midfielder wants to continue his footballing career in Yorkshire and was set to tell Huddersfield Town officials he was ready to leave the John Smith’s Stadium to link up with noisy neighbours Leeds United.
This strong interest is mutual between the two parties, with Bielsa’s side continuing to push for his signature, although a fee is yet to be agreed at this stage with the Championship club placing a £10m price tag on their prized asset.
Their ability to trigger a one-year contract extension on his current deal, allowing the Terriers to hold out for this eight-figure fee, may prove to be detrimental to this potential deal with O’Brien currently having less than 12 months left on his current deal.
But someone who is optimistic about this transfer being pushed through before next Tuesday’s deadline is ex-Villa man Gabby Agbonlahor, who spoke to Football Insider on this subject.
He said: “It could do (the deal could happen).
“It just depends what the club want for him. If they see him as a player that they want too much money for then I’m sure it won’t happen.
“But when you get into the last week of the transfer window then anything can happen. So, yeah, I can see it going through.”
This seems like a signing Leeds United desperately want – but seeing as they will probably recruit the 22-year-old with the view of treating him as a long-term project – they may decide to opt against matching Huddersfield’s valuation of their current vice-captain.
The Whites will also be aware of the recent sale of Juninho Bacuna, already leaving the second-tier side weakened in the middle of the park and possibly increasing his price tag slightly. Because of this, they may wait until January or next summer, when he is likely to be available for a lower amount of money.
And going by Football Insider’s report on O’Brien’s intentions, it doesn’t seem as though he would be willing to sign fresh terms at the John Smith’s Stadium, potentially giving Leeds a stronger hand at the negotiating table.
With Carlos Corberan’s side’s ability to trigger the one-year extension on his deal, it feels as though it’s the selling club that currently hold the upper hand in negotiations at this stage, potentially making this deal near-impossible to complete without the Terriers compromising more in the next few days.
But with limited time remaining in the transfer window and Bacuna already leaving, the chances of this deal happening now are looking slimmer by the day.