Updated: Aug 6, 2018
Leeds United have today announced the signing of Huddersfield Town centre-back Michael Hefele for a fee believed to be in the region of £6 million. The 27-year-old German has missed the deadline to play in Leeds' opening Championship match against Stoke City on Sunday.
New Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa is thought to have targeted Hefele before even finalising his own deal at Bellend Road. The 63-year-old Argentinian had this to say on Leeds United's official website;
"We are extremely delighted to welcome Michael Hefele to Leeds United, it is not very often that a club the size of ours can purchase such a high-quality player. Andrea (Radrizzani) promised me that we would be signing players from the very best clubs in Europe and I am happy that he has kept his word."
Bielsa went on to explain how Hefele would fit perfectly into his pressing style, and how he hoped the German could chip in with the occasional goal.
It is still unclear as to how Leeds fans will react to Hefele after relentlessly calling him a gypsy whilst Huddersfield were languishing in the Championship with Leeds. Hefele secured cult status at Town when he referred to his last-minute winner against Leeds as a 'fucking dream' live on TV.
Taking to his Instagram this morning, Hefele took the chance to thank Town fans for all of their support and look forward to the future, saying;
"To all Terriers, from the bottom of my heart I want to say thank you for all of your love and Terrier Spirit. I did not want to leave the club, but unfortunately the decision was made for me, it has been a Heffing dream #UTT #HEFF44"
Huddersfield manager David Wagner has as of yet been unavailable for comment, but chairman Dean Hoyle has had his say on the transfer on the official Town website;
"This deal made fiscal sense to both parties, and unfortunately it was an offer we could not refuse. Michael is aware that we did not want him to leave, but he is prepared for the mission ahead.
"Michael has been asked to start extremely well for Leeds, propelling them into a play-off place before turning in ruinous performances that cause his team to finish outside the play-offs. Leeds fans will be undoubtedly happy with this, as narrow flirtation with promotion is the best they feel they can ever achieve."
Rob Atkinson from the imaginatively named blog 'RobLUFC' took the time to speak with me via Skype this afternoon and offered his thoughts on the deal.
"You see John, I've been in contact with Michael before, and he was simply too embarrassed to carry on playing for Huddersfield. He told me that narrowly avoiding relegation was a joke that he just couldn't tolerate.
"I told him Leeds would be embarrassed with that showing too, so Elland Road is the perfect fit for him. He told me last night that he can't wait to play with Billy and Johnny and work under the gaffer Don.
"He'll go fucking nuts when he finds out that's a lie, but fuck it, he's signed the contract now so I don't give a shit. Anyway, shouldn't you be out having sex with a German Shepherd John?"