Leeds in the race to sign £20m Premier League man

Emi Martinez FA Cup final

This has been a hectic transfer window so far for Leeds United.

Did we really expect anything less? After all, the mantra has been set by Fulham and Aston Villa in recent years that after gaining promotion, you have to spend money.

Leeds might not sign the sheer number of players that their Premier League rivals added, but they are now on a spending spree.

Victor Orta broke the club’s transfer record to sign Spanish forward Rodrigo before Robin Koch arrived too.

However, their flurry of activity won’t stop there. The Telegraph has claimed that the Whites also want to sign Udinese midfielder Rodrigo de Paul, someone who’s valued at around £31m

Leeds’ plan was to sign four or five players of high calibre. They were never going to add ten or so players. After all, Marcelo Bielsa likes working with a smaller squad and that’s what he’ll presumably have again next term. 

A degree of continuity is being preferred which is a wise idea considering the playing style already ingrained in the players. 

Marcelo Bielsa

However, could there be a new man between the sticks? Reports over the weekend first linked Leeds with a move for Manchester United’s Sergio Romero, but it’s another Argentine stopper now catching their eye.

According to The Daily Mail, the Whites are monitoring the situation of Arsenal ‘keeper Emi Martinez. 

The 27-year-old has been impressive in the last couple of months and played a pivotal hand in the Gunners winning the FA Cup. 

Leeds are willing to offload Kiko Casilla according to the report, and consequently, are searching for a replacement. 

A deal won’t come cheap, however. Arsenal are believed to be searching for around £20m before they agree to sell him.

Fresh reports dictate they could also be willing to offer the goalkeeper a new contract. 

Emi Martinez Community Shield

GIVEMESPORT’S Matt Dawson says…

At the time of writing, Leeds don’t need a new goalkeeper.

In fact, it should probably be right at the bottom of their list of priorities. 

Illan Meslier showed he was more than capable when he replaced Casilla for the final segment of the campaign, keeping seven clean sheets in just ten outings.

On top of that, they also have Elia Caprile, Kamil Miazek and Dani van den Heuvel fighting for places in the U23 and U18 squads. 

Emi Martinez

That is quite the list of players that they’re going to have to try and keep happy.

That being said, everything could change if Casilla does indeed walk through the exit door. He is the only experienced ‘keeper in the Leeds ranks and it would be rather foolish if they went into the new term with just Meslier to fill the goal at senior level.

At £20m, Martinez would be costly, but he’s proven he has what it takes at the elite level. Described as “phenomenal” by Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, he is assured in his passing, commanding of his area, and rarely drops the ball. 

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