After taking over as the Leeds United manager last summer, former Norwich City boss Daniel Farke secured a reunion with defender Sam Byram, one of his old players at Carrow Road. Byram arrived on a free transfer after the Canaries released him, and now Farke wants to add another piece of his previous back four.
Over the weekend, the Championship promotion-chasers made an official approach to sign Everton defender Ben Godfrey on loan after receiving encouragement in talks with the Toffees. Godfrey, who played in Farke’s first Premier League campaign with Norwich, had looked set to move to Italy with Atalanta, but the move collapsed because of a change to tax laws in the country.
Leeds plan new Godfrey offer after first bid rejected
In another update from Football Insider and journalist Pete O’Rourke, it’s emerged that Leeds’ offer for Godfrey has been rejected. Everton are open to letting him go this month, with manager Sean Dyche granting him the green light in the hope of trimming his wage bill, but the details of the first offer must have been unsatisfactory.
Crucially, though, the 49ers are “still pushing” to get the deal done before Thursday’s deadline, and they’re expected to return with an improved offer as the clock ticks down.
Leeds should prioritise right-back over Godfrey
While Farke of course knows Godfrey well and he has been described as a manager’s “pleasure” by Carlo Ancelotti, his former boss at Everton, it’s slightly surprising to see Leeds go after a centre-back rather than a right-sided defender.
Leeds United defenders
This month, we’ve seen Djed Spence make an early return to Spurs midway through what was supposed to be a season-long loan, and Luke Ayling join Middlesbrough until the end of the season (and potentially beyond as his Leeds contract runs down). No replacement has arrived as yet, and an injury to Archie Gray against Norwich last week has underlined that the club are now light in that area, with limited time left to address the issue.
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Centre-back had been an area of concern too amid Charlie Cresswell’s absence from the first-team, driven by Farke’s concerns around his attitude, but the Englishman expressed a willingness to fight for his place in talks last week, and he was back on the bench for only the second time since mid-November when Leeds took on Plymouth on Saturday. With Joe Rodon and Liam Cooper available and Pascal Struijk expected to return from injury soon, they already look well-stocked in that particular area.