Leeds United are one of several British clubs interested in signing Croatian centre back Branimir Kalaica from reigning Portuguese champions Benfica, a report from the Daily Mail has claimed.
Kalaica has made just one appearance for Benfica’s senior side, when he scored in a 2-2 draw with Boavista in May 2017.
The Croatia Under 21 international has also made 87 appearances in all competitions since May 2016 for Benfica’s second team, who currently sit 15th in Portugal’s second tier.
It now seems as though Kalaica is starting to attract interest from elsewhere, with the latest reports claiming that Leeds, Premier League strugglers Watford and Scottish champions Celtic are all interested in signing the 22-year-old.
With Ben White’s loan from Brighton expiring at the end of the season, Leeds do need to add to their central defensive options when the transfer window reopens, particularly if they are able to secure promotion to the Premier League this season.
Admittedly, they could be taking a risk on giving that role to Kalaica, considering his lack of top-flight experience, although the fact that White himself has been so solid in his first campaign at Championship level this season may help to alleviate some of those concerns.
Indeed, when you look at the interest there is in Kalaica, it does seem as though there is plenty of confidence in his potential and ability, especially given Benfica are reportedly keen to keep hold of the defender.
This therefore, could be a good transfer race for Leeds to win, but with the fact there are two years remaining on Kalaica’s contract with Benfica meaning they are in a strong position to negotiate any offers that come in along with that interest from elsewhere, means it may not be easy for them to do that.