Few strikers in the German Bundesliga had a worse conversion rate than Matthew Leckie this season, but that hasn’t stopped other clubs from queuing up for his signature, with pen in hand and their chequebooks open.
The Australian international forward has at least two big clubs hovering over his head – despite failing to put any of his 46 shots on goal into the net this season as his club Ingolstadt suffered relegation to the second division.
FC Koln and Hertha Berlin are reportedly leading the race for the 26-year-old forward when the transfer window opens in the European summer and neither are put off by his unenviable goal ratio or his relegation release clause of approximately $5.2 million.
According to German media, Koln are considered the frontrunners and, if “The Billy Goats” get their way, that sum will be an investment for what could be a rewarding renovation job.
Leckie played six games at centre forward this season, 21 on the wing – but that could be the last time we see the Australian in the forward line for some time, with Koln looking to turn Leckie into a fullback, according to German reports.
Hertha Berlin reportedly see his future further from goal as well. Fairfax Media understands Leckie is set to re-skill and drop into the defensive line and will likely accept the chance to remain in the Bundesliga with a significantly bigger club, even if it means the end of his attacking days.
There is also a big push within Australia to begin Leckie’s transition into a mobile fullback, with sources close to the player suggesting he’s targeting becoming one of the country’s best-ever wing backs.
Socceroos’ coach Ange Postecoglou has acknowledged nearly as much, with his new-look back three formation one that will require Leckie to operate more as a wing back than an out-and-out forward. It’s a role he will likely retain for the upcoming qualifier against Saudi Arabia, friendly against Brazil and…