Triple exit on cards as Bielsa steers unwanted trio towards Leeds exit door

Yosuke Ideguchi, Jay-Roy Grot and Paudie O’Connor are all expected to secure moves away from Leeds United in the coming days, according to reports.

Japan midfielder Ideguchi joined the Whites in a £500,000 deal 18 months ago from Gamba Osaka on a contract to summer 2022, but is yet to make a single appearance for the club, having spent last season on loan at Greuther Furth in Bundesliga 2.

The German were offered the chance to sign Ideguchi in a permanent deal but could not raise the funds, leaving Leeds to discuss the prospect of allowing the 22-year-old to return to his former J-league side in a cut-price deal, likely to be around a fifth of what United paid for him, reports the Yorkshire Evening Post.

The player has been told he can leave Elland Road by head coach Marcelo Bielsa, who is looking to free up space in his squad.

Ideguchi was part of Japan’s international squad when he moved to Elland Road, but in inactivity in West Yorkshire cost him a place in the his nation’s 2018 World Cup squad.

His departure marks something of a transfer failure for the club, with Ideguchi outlining plans to play in the Premier League following his arrival.

“My dream, my one goal, is to play in the Premier League,” Ideguchi told Leeds’ official website.

“I want to take this team to the Premier League as that will be a big achievement.

“This transfer to Leeds United is the right move for me and I will train hard every day to show everyone I made the right decision by coming here.”

Grot, meanwhile, is expected to be allowed to leave Elland Road on another season-long loan deal. The Holland U21 striker, a £750,000 signing from NEC Nijmegen in 2017, spent last year with VVV-Venlo and is in talks over a return to Holland, this time with Vitesse Arnhem. It’s reported that Hearts are also looking at the possibility of signing the striker, with Leeds likely to send him out on loan again after not yet ruling him out of their long-term plans.

O’Connor, meanwhile, is set to complete a loan return to League Two side Bradford City, where he spent the second half of last season.

The young defender is highly-rated by Bantams boss Gary Bowyer, who said last season: “He’s competitive and for someone so young, he talks ever so well. He’s a good organiser and I had no problems giving him the captain’s armband. I spoke to him on Sunday about it.

“But I’m going to shut up now talking about him because I don’t want anybody to take him in the summer bar us!”

It seems Bowyer will get his wish with O’Connor set to return to Valley Parade on a season’s loan.


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