Leeds United face paying a substantial transfer fee to sign SC Freiburg defender Robin Koch in the summer window, according to A Bola.
Koch emerged as a potential option for the club to target on Deadline Day back in January when Director of Football Victor Orta openly addressed his interest in the German, by using the club’s scouting report on the 23-year-old to demonstrate the breadth of his work.
But Orta is not the only one thought to be monitoring Koch’s situation in the Bundesliga, as Liga NOS giants SL Benfica have also been impressed with what they have seen from the two-time international this term.
A Bola understand Benfica see Koch as someone who can reinforce manager Bruno Lage’s defence next season, despite the Estadio Sport Lisboa e Benfica natives sitting atop the Portuguese top-flight table and boasting the division’s best defensive record.
As Aguias have even enquired as to how much it would cost to forge a successful raid on Freiburg for Koch’s signature, to which they were informed that the former 1.FC Kaiserslautern youth player would demand a €17million (£14.2m) fee.
Though Freiburg may be willing to lower their asking price to an unstipulated figure, but any reduction would likely be limited given the Kaiserslautern-born defender has been pivotal to Christian Streich’s plans.
Would you sign Koch?
Streich has called on Koch to start all 22 of his side’s Bundesliga fixtures this term, in which the 6 ft 3 centre-half has helped to keep five clean sheets and averaged 1.3 successful tackles from 1.8, 1.3 interceptions, 3.8 clearances, 1.2 blocks, won 3.7 of 6.1 aerial duels and found teammates with 4.9 long passes per 90 minutes, per WhoScored.
Given his exploits in Germany this season, A Bola suggest Koch would demand a contract worth €2.5m a season (£40,201-per-week), which would make the German the highest-paid player at Elland Road were he to move to West Yorkshire.
Kiko Casilla currently takes that honour with a deal worth around £40,000-per-week.
Whether Koch would be willing to leave the German top-flight and a club currently three points outside of European qualification to join Leeds remains to be seen, but Orta would certainly be acquiring a talent if he were to complete a swoop.
A Bola describe Koch as a ‘powerful’ and ‘promising’ player, and we will need one of those at the back next season with Ben White likely returning to parent club Brighton & Hove Albion amid Premier League interest from Leicester, Liverpool and Manchester United.
In other Leeds United news, Orta has been tipped to forge a summer raid to land a 10-goal wonderkid.