MOT View: 49ers set for new striker transfer war chest after £20m Leeds twist

AZ Alkmaar will not stand in the defender’s way if their asking price is matched.

Leeds United have now submitted an opening bid of £2.2m for AZ Alkmaar defender Pantelis Chatzidiakos, having been in talks over a deal for the past two weeks, according to recent reports from Greece.

Who are Leeds United signing this summer?

With Liam Cooper set to leave this summer, having agreed personal terms for a move to Saudi Arabian club Al-Qadisiyah, Daniel Farke may need to bring in some additional defenders, and Liverpool’s Nat Phillips has now emerged as a major target.

In a recent update from journalist Rudy Galetti on X, it is detailed the Whites are now in “advanced talks” to sign the 26-year-old, with the two parties now “discussing some details about the proposal” of £10m, with add-ons included.

Phillips is viewed as an ideal replacement for Wober, who is now loan on Borussia Monchengladbach, and Farke is also keen to strengthen at full-back, having recently signed right-back Sam Byram, while Manchester United left-back Brandon Williams is being considered.

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Now, Leeds are firmly in the race for a player who is capable of playing at both right-back and centre-back, having recently submitted a bid for Chatzidiakos, after holding talks over a potential deal for the past two weeks (via Yorkshire Evening Post).

The Whites are in the market for a right-sided central defender, with the Alkmaar ace deemed to fit the bill, and a £2.2m bid offer has been made, having already reached an agreement with the player himself on personal terms.

The Dutch club are open to letting the defender leave this summer, if their asking price is met, and they are said to be holding out for a fee in the region of £2.5m – £3.5m.

As it stands, Leeds are only just shy of Alkmaar’s asking price, and there is “confidence” that an agreement will be reached, especially after Cooper’s recent injury, and the reports linking him with a move to the Saudi Pro League.

Who is Pantelis Chatzidiakos?

The Rhodes-born defender has featured across the backline throughout his career so far, but he has most commonly been utilised at centre-back by Alkmaar, where he has spent his entire professional career, first breaking into the team in the 2015/16 season.

Not only has the 26-year-old started to make a name for himself at club level, making 33 Eredivisie appearances last season, during which time he picked up four assists, he is also an established international, having racked up 27 caps for Greece.

Sweden's Alexander Isak in action with Greece's Pantelis Chatzidiakos

Over the past year, the Alkmaar star ranks in the 92nd percentile for passes attempted and progressive carries per 90, when compared to his positional peers, indicating he could be a good fit in a Farke system, with the Leeds boss known for his possession-based football.

It would be a risk to sign Chatzidiakos, particularly given that Phillips, who has already proven himself in England, is also available, however he has the right attributes to succeed at Elland Road, and he would be a low-cost option, at around £3m

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