Leeds transfer news: Bielsa makes key passer his top target in £30m hope

Udinese midfielder Rodrigo de Paul in action for Argentina against Chile in the Copa America

Leeds United are hopeful they can sign Udinese star Rodrigo De Paul this summer, according to Football Insider

What is the latest Leeds United transfer news?

According to the report, the Yorkshire giants believe they can move for the Argentine for cheaper than the £37m they were reportedly quoted during last year’s delayed summer transfer window. 

Indeed, those behind the scenes at Elland Road are understood to have baulked at that valuation but are planning to revisit the deal this summer and believe an agreement can be reached for closer to £30m. 

Manager Marcelo Bielsa is understood to have made the 26-year-old a top target in what could be a clear indication that the 65-year-old plans on extending his stay in West Yorkshire, following a report in The Sunday Sun suggesting a 12-month rolling contract was close to being signed off. 

How many assists has Rodrigo De Paul got this season? 

If Leeds were impressed with his performances last season, the Udinese star has got better this time around. 

Indeed, 32 Serie A games have yielded eight goals and eight assists, already beating his total in 2019/20 (seven and six respectively) and, impressively, only AC Milan’s Hakan Calhanoglu averages more in the way of key passes than De Paul across the entirety of Italy’s top flight. 

De Paul’s 2.4 key pass average (via WhoScored) would see him rank first in the Leeds squad and only Patrick Bamford averages more shots (2.9 to 2.3) across the same period. In fact, if De Paul was to translate his rate of key passes following a potential move to the Premier League, only Jack Grealish, Kevin De Bruyne and Bruno Fernandes would rank above him. 

Clearly, moving leagues and adapting into a new style means that is not an exact science but the underlying numbers are certainly promising. 

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What has De Paul said about Leeds’ interest before? 

During last year’s transfer window, the Argentine international replied in a Twitter thread talking about his potential move. 

During a discussion between The Square Ball Podcast’s account and a Leeds supporter, it was suggested ‘apparently he’s keen on the move but it now rests with the clubs’ to which De Paul replied ‘Yes’ with a fingers crossed emoji. 

How much would De Paul cost Leeds United to sign? 

The report suggests there is a hope a deal can be done for around £30m this summer which would be a club record but, considering he is only 26 and has been one of the top creators in Serie A this season, would surely be worth the risk. 

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