Crystal Palace have reportedly entered the race to sign Huddersfield Town midfielder Lewis O’Brien, who is also a transfer target for Leeds United.
According to a report from Football Insider, Leeds United are set to face fresh competition in their pursuit of Huddersfield Town’s Lewis O’Brien as Crystal Palace plot a swoop for the midfielder.
The 22-year-old O’Brien came through the youth ranks at Huddersfield and has made massive strides over the past couple of years after a loan spell with Bradford City in 2018/19. Since returning, the midfielder has been a regular fixture in the starting XI for the Terriers, making 82 appearances in which he has scored five goals and set up seven more.
O’Brien’s progress with the EFL Championship outfit has led to strong interest from Leeds United. The Whites have had a solid transfer window so far, but a new central midfielder could be a key addition to Marcelo Bielsa’s outfit this summer, as he looks to push for European qualifying spots.
Stuart Dallas was in inspired form in midfield towards the end of the last season while Mateusz Klich is a regular as well, with Kalvin Phillips manning the holding midfield role. However, as far as cover goes, Bielsa may be thinly stretched with Jamie Shackleton being used at right-back at times and Adam Forshaw recently returning from a long-term injury.
So, a move for O’Brien would make sense for Leeds United. To that end, the Whites have already made an opening offer for the Englishman but saw their bid rejected by Huddersfield, who demanded a fee of £10 million for their academy graduate.
And even as Leeds were said to be preparing a new offer for the 22-year-old, they are now set to face competition from fellow Premier League club Crystal Palace. The Eagles have already added a new central midfielder this summer, signing Conor Gallagher on loan from Chelsea, beating Leeds United to his transfer.
And, they are now hoping to repeat the trick again with O’Brien. Manager Patrick Vieira is keen on building a youthful squad and sees another midfield signing as an important step, the report claims. While Michael Olise has also been brought in along with Gallagher, James McArthur, at 33, is not getting any younger.
Furthermore, Eberechi Eze has been sidelined for the foreseeable future due to an injury as well. So, beefing up their squad with the addition of someone like O’Brien, who can play as a No. 8 or a No. 10 could be a smart move.
O’Brien has entered the final year of his contract, although Huddersfield Town do have the option of extending it by twelve more months. While they were insistent on a £10 million fee earlier, the Terriers are now willing to settle for a lower sum. What now remains to be seen is who among Leeds and Crystal Palace come out on top in the race to sign the 22-year-old.