This summer has been a quite brilliant one for Leeds.
Whether it be achieving promotion to the Premier League or breaking their transfer record, there are few concerns at Elland Road.
Plans for top-flight life are being drawn up and have so far been executed to perfection by Director of Football Victor Orta.
However, you’d be kidding yourself if you weren’t scared about Marcelo Bielsa leaving.
The Argentine has yet to put pen to paper on a new deal but was in the dugout for the friendly against Stoke earlier in the week.
Is that a sign of things to come? Supporters will certainly hope so.
The latest on his situation is that it’s just a matter of crossing the Ts and dotting the Is. It would have been crazy if after two years he couldn’t agree to stay for longer. After all, he is just one part of the considerable lure Leeds now have.
That rings true with one of the club’s latest transfer targets.
A report from South American publication Ole (via Sport Witness) suggested this week that three teams in England were following attacking midfielder Thiago Almada.
The 19-year-old is attracting interest from not only Leeds but also Manchester City and Manchester United.
Almada has a release clause but that has just increased from €23m (£20.4m) to €25m (£22.2m).
Velez Sarsfield are yet to receive a bid for the player but if a few offers are finally submitted, the player could have a tough choice on his hands.
The two Manchester clubs are obviously huge, but he’s previously revealed his desire to play under Bielsa.
He said in July: “My friends sent me that something came out of Bielsa, but I am calm. If it happens or not we’ll see. I’d like Bielsa to manage me.”
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£22.4m would be a lot to spend on a player who is untested in one of Europe’s top five leagues, especially when you consider that just over £10m more could bag the club Rodrigo de Paul at Udinese.
That being said, Almada is a generational talent, someone capable of becoming a genuine star in the future.
At the age of just 19, he has nine goals in 46 senior outings and can play in a multitude of positions.
In his career to date, the teenager has played on both flanks, as a striker and also as a number 10. That’s his preferred position and it’s one that’s seen comparisons emerge with Carlos Tevez.
Almada was one of the names on The Guardian’s ‘Next Generation’ list of 2018, where a fascinating insight was offered on the player who was just 17 at the time.
“Thiago Almada dreams about becoming the new Carlos Tevez – and why not. Like “the Apache” he was born in El Fuerte, a poor but brave neighbourhood in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, and also like the former Argentina international he is an extremely skilful player with plenty of attitude,” wrote Juan Carlos Pasman.
If that’s a sign of things to come, then defences have every reason to be worried about Almada. For context, Tevez has scored 211 career goals.
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