Leeds United dealt blow in pursuit of Croatian wonderkid

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Leeds United have certainly enjoyed life over recent months.

After securing the Championship title in emphatic fashion with a 10-point buffer on their rivals, it was to be expected that confidence would be high coming in to the new season.

But the Whites certainly aren't getting complacent about the challenge ahead.

Life in the Premier League is going to be a completely different prospect for them, and they need to be ready.

After all, it's been 16 years since the club last graced the top flight.

Leeds have already been busy in the transfer market after adding the likes of Robin Koch and Rodrigo to the squad.

They've also brought in a number of young players with a view to the future - something that they're keen to do more of.

One player who the club has been heavily linked with is Josko Gvardiol.

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The Dinamo Zagreb is regarded as one of the hottest prospects in European football after bursting onto the scene last season.

Reports had claimed that Leeds were closing in on a £20 million deal for the 18-year-old, however a fresh update has suggested that the move has fallen through.

Croatian publication TPortal have claimed that Gvardiol has rejected a move to Elland Road.

It's claimed that Marcelo Bielsa's side had agreed a fee with the Croatian club which included significant sell-on potential.

However the young defender turned down the switch and will be looking to remain with Zagreb as he looks to 'impose himself' on the first team.

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GIVEMESPORT'S Phil Spencer says...

This is a massive blow for Leeds United.

Josko Gvardiol is regarded as one of the hottest prospects in European football and that's why the defender was so highly-rated.

But it seems that any pursuit will have to wait.

Despite only making 15 first team appearances, it's thought that Dinamo Zagreb think particularly highly of the 18-year-old.

Gvardiol have has a very bright future ahead of him and surely the priority has to be on playing regular first team football.

While moving to Elland Road would undoubtedly be a good career move, there's certainly a case for suggesting that his opportunities in the first team would be limited.

Perhaps that's the reason for his decision, but I'm sure that more will come to light over the coming days.

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