Serie A

Leeds fan favourite eyeing Borussia Dortmund move for next season

Leeds fan favourite eyeing Borussia Dortmund move for next season

Leeds United could lose midfielder Ilia Gruev to Borussia Dortmund this summer, according to reports. 

Gruev has become a popular figure among the Elland Road faithful since joining from Werder Bremen last summer.

The Bulgaria international made 35 appearances across all competitions in 2023/24 as Leeds United finished third in the Championship with 90 points, ultimately failing to seal promotion back to the Premier League as they lost the play-off final 1-0 to Southampton.

Gruev averaged 2.34 tackles and 1.32 interceptions per 90 minutes in the Championship last season in his role as a defensive midfielder, while his 92.56% pass accuracy was bettered only by Glen Kamara (92.74%) among Leeds players.

“More important than the talking is the pitch and you could sense what type of character he is when you watch him play because when he is on the pitch, no one on the pitch, both from our team or the other team, covers more distance,” Leeds boss Daniel Farke said of Gruev earlier in the season (via Yorkshire Evening Post).

“He is always solid, always reliable and plays in possession with very rare mistakes. He is good on the ball, disciplined, professional and has a top, top work ethic.

“If you are like this on the pitch, you can imagine off the pitch he is exactly like this. From the first day he walked in, he was modest, humble, hard-working and also patient. He waited for his chance, but was the first one in and last one off the training pitch. He was always interested and in with our sports science team to add a bit more strength to his body. He is one of the most professional players I have ever worked with. He is definitely on the right path and we are happy that we have him.”

Leeds to lose Gruev?

Leeds’ failure to secure promotion back to the top flight leaves them at risk of losing a number of key players.

Crysencio Summerville is the most high-profile name expected to leave as Premier League giants Liverpool and Chelsea circle.

But it also looks like Gruev could return to Germany, with a report from TEAMtalk stating Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund are interested in the 24-year-old.

TEAMtalk report that Leeds will demand a £15m fee for Gruev, which would represent a £10m profit on what they paid for him less than 12 months ago, while “multiple” Serie A clubs are also interested.

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