Leeds United are reportedly on the verge of completing the capture of Celtic youngster Leo Hjelde, who is set for a medical at Elland Road.
According to an exclusive report from Football Insider, Leo Hjelde is closing in on the move to Leeds United. The 18-year-old Norwegian defender is set to undergo a medical soon at Elland Road, and the move could be imminent after his club Celtic accepted a fresh bid from Leeds.
A native of Norway, Hjelde is currently contracted to the reserve side of Celtic. But he had shown a lot of promise during his loan spell at Ross County and is now set for a move to England to further grow as a player.
Subject to completion, the youngster would become the fourth new signing for Leeds United this summer. However, he is more likely to be drafted into the Elite Development Squad, which has also brought in talents like Sean McGurk, Amari Miller and most recently, Chelsea whizkid Lewis Bate.
After all, the Norwegian defender does not have much experience at the highest level of football. Part of the Celtic team since 2020, he is yet to even make his senior debut for the Hoops, though the 18-year-old had featured in 12 competitive matches for Ross County last season.
As such, it is difficult to imagine him being considered as a first-team option for Leeds United. The Whites have no shortage of depth when it comes to central defence, with Marcelo Bielsa having at least four viable options in Liam Cooper, Pascal Struijk, Robin Koch and Diego Llorente.
Hjelde, therefore, is more likely to serve as a direct replacement for Oliver Casey on the reserve side. The young LUFC defender has joined Blackpool this summer, thus opening up a slot in central defence alongside captain Charlie Cresswell.
Given his performances at Ross County, the 18-year-old could be an upgrade over Casey in the second team. But he will surely need to perform at his best in order to remain a viable starting candidate for Mark Jackson’s team next season.
As for the first team, it appears the club is keen on revisiting their interest in Ryan Kent. They are reportedly among the clubs to monitor the former Liverpool star who is facing an uncertain future at Rangers. It will be interesting to see whether the Whites can secure his services after missing out on him a few years ago.