Jesse Marsch ‘actively pursuing’ striker and left-back to strengthen Leeds squad

Leeds are “actively pursuing” a new striker and left-back as Jesse Marsch continues preparations for the new season in Australia.

he West Yorkshire club have seen star men Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips leave for Barcelona and Manchester City respectively since avoiding relegation on the final day of last season.

Leeds have moved quickly as they attempt to replace the duo and bolster their options for the 2022-23 campaign, but there remains work to do as Marsch works with the group Down Under.

The Elland Road outfit have been attempting to sign Club Brugge’s Charles De Ketelaere but face stiff competition from Serie A champions AC Milan, with the American pinpointing striker and left-back as areas to improve.

“I’d say we’re actively pursuing both positions,” said Marsch before Leeds trained in front of hundreds of fans in Fremantle. “The striker one, I think it’s been well documented that De Ketelaere was a goal of ours and it’s not finished yet with him.

“But we’ve also moved on to some other targets, trying to figure out which would be the best fit if in the end, which is what we believe, he will not be available.

“Then left-back, we have a few different candidates and we’re just trying to evaluate exactly where we are with the roster and what exactly we need.”

Leeds, who play Crystal Palace in Perth on Friday, made their seventh summer signing on Tuesday as former West Ham youngster Sonny Perkins, 18, signed a three-year deal.

Last month Brenden Aaronson and Rasmus Kristensen joined from Red Bull Salzburg, with Bayern Munich’s Marc Roca and Darko Gyabi of Manchester City following them to the Elland Road.

Marsch signed Tyler Adams from his former club RB Leipzig and exciting Colombia winger Luis Sinisterra has arrived from Feyenoord.

“For me, I think Marc Roca, Rasmus Kristensen, Brenden Aaronson, Tyler Adams and Luis Sinisterra have all fit into the team really good, really well,” the Leeds boss said.

“Darko Gyabi is also getting more and more integrated. He’s a young player and it’s not always easy for 18-year-olds to step right into a team but I think everybody sees his quality and his personality.

“For right now, I feel really strongly that the group has come together well.

“Of course we’ve lost two big players, but I think we’ve added a lot of quality and we’ve added more depth to what we know we needed.

“It won’t make anything easier. The league is incredible. It’s incredible. And it’s a pleasure to be a part of it.

“It keeps you challenged, keeps you honest, it makes sure that you never get too far ahead of yourself, but we’re hopeful that this group of players can help us develop and create some good success and a strong future.”

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