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Brenden Aaronson completes transfer to Leeds United

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Brenden Aaronson just completed a career season with Red Bull Salzburg that only increased the interest in his services on the transfer market, and Leeds United has won the race to sign the U.S. men’s national team midfielder after a long-rumored courtship for his services.

Aaronson has joined the Yorkshire club on a permanent transfer from Red Bull Salzburg, signing a contract through July 2027. Leeds United has reported paid $30 million for Aaronson’s services, Austrian outlet Salzburger Nachrichten reported on Tuesday.

“It’s an amazing feeling to be here at this historic club, I am really excited for the new season,” Aaronson said in a club interview. “I think it was around Christmas or January that I could see there was some interest and hearing about Leeds United being interested, it was a huge moment for me and I was super excited.

“I had known a lot about Leeds at that time and what a famous club it is, the fans they have and how dedicated they are, it was just a dream place for me. We’re going to have a big next season and I am really excited to be a part of it. I know the team is going to be up for it, so it is going to be an important season. I am not even thinking about my off-season, I am just excited to get back into it.”

Aaronson enjoyed an impressive 2021-22 season in Austria, helping Matthias Jaissle’s side win the Austrian Bundesliga title and the Austrian Cup for the second-consecutive season. Aaronson totaled 41 appearances for Red Bull Salzburg in all competitions, scoring six goals and adding 10 assists.

The 21-year-old started in all eight of Red Bull Salzburg’s UEFA Champions League matches, helping the Bundesliga side reach the Round of 16 before being eliminated by Bayern Munich. The former Philadelphia Union homegrown registered two assists the German giants.

Aaronson also helped the USMNT clinch a spot in the 2022 FIFA World Cup, scoring two goals and adding one assist in 11 qualifying appearances under Gregg Berhalter. He has been included in Berhalter’s roster for a quartet of June matches starting on June 1.

Aaronson will be reunited fellow American Jesse Marsch, who took over as Leeds United manager in March and brought Aaronson to Red Bull Salzburg during his time as manager of the Austrian champions. Marsch helped Leeds United avoid relegation after winning 2-1 at Brentford on the final day of the English Premier League season.

 “Brenden is an incredibly hard worker and we’re pleased to welcome him to the club,” Marsch said about Aaronson. “He adapts very well to tactical ideas and levels of play and his mentality is to do whatever it takes to help the team succeed.

“I know he will fit in here perfectly with our players and club with this mindset.”

Aaronson will be the second former MLS player in the Leeds United squad, joining former New York City FC winger Jack Harrison.

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