West Brom are reportedly one of many clubs interested in signing HNK Rijeka midfielder Ivan Lepinjica.
According to Croatian outlet Tportal, the 19-year-old midfielder has caught the eye of the Baggies this season after an impressive season in the Prva Liga that has seen the teenager play over 1,000 minutes of football as stats from Transfermarkt show.
However, Slaven Bilic’s side face massive competition for Lepinjica’s signature, with the report claiming that the likes of Juventus and Chelsea are also interested in the Croatian youth international as well as Championship rivals Leeds United, are also keen on improving their midfield this transfer window.
The report also states that Chelsea have already had a bid between €3m-€4m (£2.5m-£3.3m) knocked back by Rijeka for their prized asset, with the Croatian side only willing to listen to offers above €5m (£4.2m) for Lepinjica.
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Standing at an impressive 6’2” and playing every game this season as a defensive midfielder as positional stats from Transfermarkt show and Complete Sports stating that the Croatian youngster can also play as a centre-back, West Brom are seemingly eyeing at improving their defensive record with a player from Bilic’s homeland.
With the Baggies having one of the worst clean sheet records in the Championship this season as figures from Footy Stats show with West Brom only managing five compared to Leeds’ league-high of 12, it is easy to see why the club are eager to improve on keeping goals out of their net if the club are to gain promotion to the Premier League.
West Brom need defensive recruitments, and Lepinjica could be a solid addition to the squad if the Albion can beat out high-calibre opposition for the signature of the Croatian youngster, who could be swayed to join the Baggies with Bilic at the helm.