Mateusz Klich has emerged as a transfer target for Premier League side Burnley, with the Sun crediting the Lancashire club with an interest in the Leeds United midfielder.
Leeds are facing another year in the Championship after crashing out of the promotion race last term, but their players are attracting interest after a fine campaign.
After 19 goal involvements in the last 12 months, Klich is one of those, and we assess the transfer links with Burnley in our latest Six Pointer…
Firstly, explain Klich’s current situation at Leeds?
“A tough first year at Elland Road left Klich exiled, but he worked his way back into Marcelo Bielsa’s plans last summer and has never looked back – scoring 10 goals and registering nine assists in the 2018/19 season.
“He’s entering the final year of the deal he signed on arrival at Elland Road, but there have been reports at the Yorkshire Evening Post that the Whites hold a 12-month option on that, which could take his commitment to 2021.
“However, as things stand, Klich is into his final year as a Leeds player and now seemingly has Premier League interest.”
Why do Burnley hold an interest in the Polish international?
“In their 38 Premier League games last season, Burnley scored only 45 goals, which wasn’t the top-flight’s worst record, but needs improving.
“Strikers and playmakers will be obviously targeted to address that, but a goalscoring midfielder can be so underrated and would really help Burnley out. As per Wyscout, the Clarets’ midfield options only scored a combined total of 12 goals last season, which Klich would improve.
“They often look to the Championship at this time of year, and Klich was one of the standout goalscoring midfielders in the season gone by. He scored goals from distance and got beyond the defence on plenty of occasions, providing the perfect mix you want from a No.8.”
Is there any suggestion that Klich might be unhappy at Elland Road?
“The 29-year-old certainly looked to enjoy his football last season and he really made a splash in English football off a tough first year.
“Bielsa gave him a licence to get forward and Klich really thrived in a side that liked to get forward and create chances – that side of the midfielder’s game was exceptional and you could see he loved the best part of last season.
“Having been left behind as the bulk of Leeds’ squad head to Australia on pre-season tour this summer Klich replied with a rather snotty response, but you shouldn’t read too much into that.”
No, at thorp arch.
— Mateusz Klich (@Cli5hy) July 13, 2019
So, could a move be on the cards in your eyes?
“You can never say never, and from Leeds’ perspective, they’re in a tough place having failed to win promotion. Players might get cherry-picked and heads could well be turned within Bielsa’s squad, it’s just the way modern football is.
“Klich’s contract situation is a complex one, but for now, with only 12 months remaining, this might be Leeds’ only chance to cash in on him should the extension not materialise.
“However, Leeds have already lost Pontus Jansson’s service this summer and Jack Clarke is only theirs for another 12 months, so you can’t imagine Bielsa will be impressed if another key cog goes. He will want to keep Klich after his ever-present 2018/19 campaign.”
How much should Leeds be demanding for such a vital player?
“The contract situation makes it an interesting debate, and it ties Leeds’ hands to a certain extent.
“Without Leeds extending Klich’s contract, £5m might prize him away from Elland Road, which would be well within Burnley’s budget should they choose to take this interest any further.
“However, Leeds will acknowledge that this is a 29-year-old international midfielder who is at the peak of his powers. They won’t want to lose him, particularly on the cheap, so might make things a little more difficult.”
Finally, what do you think the Whites’ next move should be amid this news?
“They need to weigh a few things up and it needs to be addressed quickly with the window shutting in early August.
“They could cash in, which would pave the way for Romaine Sawyers to arrive, after Football Insider credited the Whites with an interest last week.
“Or, Leeds could stand firm, make Klich feel wanted and activate his contract extension. From there, you can offer the midfielder fresh terms and give him further reason to settle.
“The latter would be my option – you can’t underestimate what Klich did for the Whites last season and losing him would be another blow in a mixed summer so far.”