Leeds United have reignited their interest in Leo Hjelde following his loan spell at Ross County last season (YEP).

Then-County manager John Hughes hailed Norwegian youth star Hjelde as ‘the next Virgil Van Dijk’ and confirmed a Leeds United attempt to sign him before his Highland loan from Celtic in January. The 17-year-old impressed in Dingwall and Hughes wanted to keep him for the 21/22 season, before leaving his post as Ross County boss in May.

Rangers v Ross County - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Leeds United want Hjelde after his Ross County form. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Now Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United are said to be planning a summer swoop, Hjelde one of a number of youth targets for the Elland Road club. Hughes said of Hjelde earlier this year:  “I 100 per cent believe he will reach the Premier League. Leo is going to be the next Virgil Van Dijk, trust me on that, trust me.

“He has got a lot to learn but for being a young kid, to come on loan during Covid in this climate, what he’s produced has been absolutely fantastic. He has still got a lot of learning but before he came here Leeds United were after him. He is going to be a centre-back but he can play left-back.

“Everything a loan does for a kid, playing competitive football every week, trying to win every week, playing men’s football, standing up to it and the disappointments. There have been one or two occasions he could have done better but that’s part of it. It’s been a wonderful experience for Leo.”

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