Leeds' failure to sign £36.4m-rated ace explained

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Leeds United have hit something of a rough patch.

Marcelo Bielsa’s men were promoted in 2019/20 and looked primed to take the Premier League by storm with their all-action, high-intensity style.

And while they did that at the start, playing out a breathless 4-3 defeat to Liverpool, and taking points off both Manchester City and Arsenal, they have been losing games recently.

Indeed, Bielsa’s men actually have just the one win from their last six outings, losing 4-1 to Leicester City and Crystal Palace, 3-1 to Chelsea, and 2-1 to West Ham United, while also drawing 0-0 with the Gunners. Their only win came against Everton, a 1-0 success at Goodison Park.

While it is almost certainly not time to panic, Leeds supporters will surely have hoped for a better return than four points from a possible 18.

That form comes despite a spending spree in the summer to get the Whites in top condition for their big return to the top-flight, and Sport Witness carries a report from Calciomercato explaining how they missed out on one of their top targets.

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That was Rodrigo De Paul, the Udinese midfielder, who was consistently linked throughout the summer.

The Italian outlet claim that the Argentine would have accepted a move to Leeds had a fee been agreed, but it wasn’t.

Udinese wanted up to €40m (£36.4m) for the midfielder and he was unwilling to rock the boat.

Indeed, the report states that De Paul is happy in Italy and is fine to continue at the club; he has a contract until 2024 and has made 10 starts already this season, scoring three goals and registering two assists.

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

This will sting for Leeds.

De Paul was clearly available at the right price and he seems to be the model professional too.

Clearly he knows exactly what he wants, and is willing to do whatever he is told to by his club, which is exactly the type of player Bielsa usually covets.

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That he has been in such good form in Serie A too only rubs salt into the wound, and the equation seems clear again in January.

If Leeds really do want to sign him, they simply need to pay up.

Given how this report shows De Paul as a shining light both on and off the pitch, maybe they should look down the back of the sofa for some spare change.

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