Leeds United have recently been linked with a move to bring PSV Eindhoven left-back Philipp Max to Elland Road this summer.
However, despite Victor Orta reportedly submitting an €8m (£6.7m) bid for the Germany international, further reports have suggested that it would take a great deal more to prise the 28-year-old away from the Eredivisie side, while the Dutch club’s manager Ruud van Nistelrooy also recently claimed that he would not be open to letting the defender leave the club this summer.
In comments cited by Leeds Live, the former Manchester United centre-forward said: “There is not a hair on my head thinking about letting Max go. And the way he [performs], I am very satisfied with that.”
As such, with a move for Max looking increasingly unlikely as we edge ever close to the closure of the summer transfer window on September 1, Orta will no doubt have turned his focus elsewhere in the market in his bid to add a new left-back to Jesse Marsch’s first team squad.
There would appear to be one standout candidate with whom the Whites have already been linked this summer, in the shape of VfB Stuttgart left-back Borna Sosa.
With Orta clearly looking for a left-sided defender who likes to get forward – as evidenced by the Spaniard’s reported interest in Max, who has scored eight goals and registered 18 assists over his 93 appearances for PSV – Stuttgart’s Croatian international would very much appear to be something of a dream alternative to the German.
Indeed, over his 28 Bundesliga appearances last season, the £20.7m-rated full-back more than proved his ability in the final third, scoring one goal, providing eight assists and creating nine big chances for his team-mates, in addition to averaging 2.2 key passes, 2.5 crosses and 1.3 dribbles per game.
These returns saw the £15k-per-week defender average a quite remarkable SofaScore match rating of 7.26, not only ranking him as Pellegrino Matarazzo’s best performer in the league but also as the joint 13th-best player in the German top flight as a whole.
Furthermore, with Ben Jacobs revealing on Twitter last month that Stuttgart would be willing to part with the player who Sven Mislintat dubbed a “weapon” for a figure in the region of £20m this summer, it would very much appear that, if Orta can match the Bundesliga club’s asking price, a deal for Sosa will not be difficult to get over the line.
As such, considering his similarities to Max, coupled with his availability in the market, it would seem advisable for Leeds to launch a bid for the six-cap international in the coming weeks, as Sosa would very much appear to be a player who ticks a lot of Orta’s boxes for the signing of a new left-back this summer.