Leeds agree personal terms with midfield target

Marcelo Bielsa

Leeds United’s opening match of the season against Liverpool followed a stunning narrative that’s playing out at Elland Road this summer.

The Yorkshire side have witnessed their fair share of entertainment in the last few months and now they’re in the Premier League, that’s set to continue.

It has been a period to savour, to remember, and to celebrate. Leeds haven’t achieved some of the things that have happened recently for two decades.

Not since 2000 had they broken their transfer record and they hadn’t set foot in the top-flight of English football since 2004. 

History is occurring before our very eyes when it comes to Leeds and few would bet against them running more of the top six clubs close during the 2020/21 season. 

Their attacking display in scoring three at Anfield was scintillating but they have lessons to learn defensively.

Fortunately, they have skipper Liam Cooper to return to the side. Alongside Robin Koch, scorer last Saturday, there are reasons to be hopeful – that’s even without Ben White at the heart of the defence. 

Robin Koch

Alongside the triumphant events of this summer, a transfer saga has been playing out.

Reports a few weeks ago stated that Leeds were chasing Udinese playmaker Rodrigo de Paul. 

However, we keep hearing conflicting claims on his potential move to English shores.

David Ornstein labelled a move ‘impossible’ while Leeds guru Phil Hay insists the Whites don’t want to pay the fee touted.

However, a more positive update on their pursuit was issued by Italian journalist Nicolo Schira on Monday evening.

He took to Twitter to reveal: “Leeds have agreed personal terms with Rodrigo DePaul for a contract until 2024 (€3M/year). The Argentinian midfielder is still Bielsa’s first choice. Radrizzani is working to reach an agreement with Udinese (ask €35-40M). LUFC have offered €28M + add-ons.” 

In English money, the fee the Serie A side are wanting are around £36.8m. 

Rodrigo de Paul

GIVEMESPORT’S Matt Dawson says…

Unfortunately for Leeds, they may have to give up on this deal for now. 

£36.8m is an awful lot of money and if Udinese are failing to budge on that asking price, it would take quite something for Andrea Radrizzani and Victor Orta to convince them to sell De Paul for a lower price. 

Although a long-term replacement for Pablo Hernandez would be ideal, Leeds showed on Saturday that they still have plenty of creativity and goal scoring qualities within their ranks.

Kalvin Phillips played two key passes while Helder Costa managed to create an opportunity too.

Kalvin Phillips and Luke Ayling

Meanwhile, the other forwards, Jack Harrison, Patrick Bamford and Mateusz Klich all found the back of the net.

Typically, Hernandez was the only one who failed to have much impact. At the age of 35, he is getting on a bit, but Leeds could probably get away with waiting for a year before finding his successor.

De Paul is an eye-catching midfielder but there is no point wasting over £35m this summer when there might be better value elsewhere.

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