Phil Hay claims that Leeds denied a €7.5 million defender transfer after a forceful intervention from Daniel Farke.

Daniel Farke put a stop to summer interest in one of Leeds United’s most consistent players this season, believing the player would improve following a year of hardships at Elland Road.

The Yorkshire club was relegated from the Premier League following a disastrous season in which they swung from one manager to another before concluding the season with a woeful seven victories from 38 games and 31 points.

As a result, it was no surprise to see Leeds lose a plethora of players from their squad once relegation was confirmed with 15 players departing Elland Road over the summer.

Several of those departed Leeds thanks to relegation clauses in their contracts, with many departing on loan in a bid to help push up their values with regards future sales. However, Leeds – with new owners 49ers Enterprises in control – did make an effort to retain the services of some of their leading lights; a battle they were ultimately destined to lose with all of Jack Harrison, Luis Sinisterra and Tyler Adams sealing moves elsewhere.

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One man who they did make an forceful effort to keep though was Willy Gnonto with the Italy star not one of those players whose deals contained an escape clause. And when Everton came knocking, Leeds held firm – after admittedly some resistence from the player – to resist all the Toffees threw at them.

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Another star who could have moved on was Pascal Struijk, with the 24-year-old the subject of an offer from Club Brugge.

They finished fourth in the Jupiler Pro League last season, booking a place in the UEFA Conference League in the process.

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Farke ordered Leeds to reject Pascal Struijk transfer offer
The offer from the Belgian side was reportedly worth around €7.5m (£6.5m), with the move potentially have been of interest to the defender given their offer of European football.

Indeed, having been used infrequently in his preferred central defensive role last season and often utilised as a makeshift left-back, Struijk could have been forgiven for pushing to make the move back to the country of his birth.

Instead, and enthused by new boss Farke’s plans for him and the team, Struijk did not agitate for the move, instead opting to stay.

Leeds United oracle Phil Hay wrote in The Athletic about why Farke was so desperate to keep him:

“Leeds suspected he was one of the names looking to leave over the summer to avoid relegation to the Championship, and Club Brugge in Belgium made an approach for him in July.”

“However, Farke was already in the building and told Leeds that they would be better off keeping Struijk.” Perhaps he was already seeing how the 24-year-old Dutchman would fit in at that early stage.”

Farke’s faith in Struijk has been rewarded, with the centre-half appearing in all 900 minutes of the club’s ten Championship games thus far. Struijk, a member of a defense that has kept five clean sheets in their previous six matches, has also scored three goals this season, helping the Whites advance to sixth in the table with only two defeats.

The Whites and Struijk will play their second Championship match of the season against Bristol City at home on Saturday. Struijk will be aiming for another clean sheet to add to his collection after the Robins won away at Rotherham on Wednesday night.




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