Date: 25th March 2020 at 12:00pm
Written by: Zak Roome

SSC Napoli and Borussia Dortmund have become the latest sides to meet with the agent of Leeds United target Robin Koch, according to Arena Napoli.

Director of Football Victor Orta publically discussed his interest in the SC Freiburg centre-half earlier in the year, with the Spaniard using the 23-year-old to exhibit the breadth of his work when scouring the globe to unearth the next star of Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

It was not long before more potentially interested parties joined Orta in monitoring Koch, with Liga NOS heavyweight SL Benfica put forward in February as having enquired into his situation in Germany.

Now, though, it is alleged that club chiefs from Napoli and Dortmund are monitoring the two-time international ahead of a potential summer swoop, while RB Leipzig have already put forward a €15m (£13.6m) offer.

Freiburg turned down the Red Bull-owned outfit’s bid as they are believed to want €20m (£18.1m) before releasing Koch, whom Napoli feel could take over at the San Paolo Stadium from €100m (£90.9m) man Kalidou Koulibaly.

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Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa and West Bromwich Albion boss Slaven Bilic watch the action

Who has missed more big chances to score after 37 league games?

Koch is understood to favour staying in the Bundesliga this summer if he is to leave Freiburg, as the 6 ft 3 centre-back feels securing a move to a top side in the country would better his chances of earning further international caps.

A move to England may also be on the cards, though, as Tottenham Hotspur are also on the scene, however Jose Mourinho’s side are yet to hold talks with Koch’s representatives, unlike European giants Dortmund and Napoli.

Orta, clearly, will face some serious competition if he is to target Koch in the summer window, but the Spaniard would be well within his reasons to at least try his hand at bringing the German to Elland Road.

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Before the season was postponed due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Koch had proven himself as a top centre-back in the Bundesliga having been on the field for each of Freiburg’s five clean sheets.

Koch has started all 24 of his league outings this term, over which WhoScored note he has averaged 1.2 successful tackles from 1.7 attempts per 90 minutes, plus 1.3 interceptions, 3.6 clearances, 1.0 blocks and wins 3.8 of his 6.2 aerial duels.

With Ben White only on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion, and the club being without an option to buy, Koch could be a strong candidate to fill the void if we cannot strike a deal to retain the Poole-born ace this summer.

In other Leeds United news, a prominent pundit has urged Bielsa to overlook a £3.6m-rated man should the 2019/20 season resume.

 
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