Elland Road transfer news: Massive club 'open to letting £20m star leave' this month

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Leeds United have been given ‘a bit of hope’ in their pursuit of Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie in the January transfer window, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The highly-rated 23-year-old has been linked with a move to Elland Road in recent weeks as Marcelo Bielsa aims to bolster his engine room options over the winter period.

What is the latest news involving McKennie?

According to The Sun, Leeds are targeting a move for McKennie – who is reportedly available for around £20 million after falling down the pecking order under Massimiliano Allegri.

However, Bielsa is set to face a tricky task convincing the USA international to swap life in Turin for west Yorkshire, with the engine room operator keen to stay and fight for his place.

Transfer expert and well-known reporter Fabrizio Romano also recently confirmed Leeds’ interest in McKennie and reiterated that any deal for the youngster would be ‘complicated’.

The box-to-box dynamo has impressed in spells since arriving in Italian football from Schalke 18 months ago but has also spent several games watching on from the sidelines.

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In 64 appearances for the Old Lady, McKennie has bagged eight goals and laid on a further three assists, claiming the Italian Cup along the way.

However, only 28 of those outings have come as starts in the Serie A, and Leeds may be able to persuade him to leave Juve with the promise of guaranteed game time.

What has O’Rourke said about McKennie?

With the Italian giants widely believed to be open to McKennie departing the Juventus Stadium this January, O’Rourke believes the Whites will have some optimism regarding securing his signature.

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He told GiveMeSport: “I think McKennie could be a target, whether you could get them away from Juventus to join a relegation battle will be another issue, but Juventus are open to letting McKennie go, so that maybe gives Leeds a bit of hope in that one.”

Would McKennie be a good signing for Leeds?

Leeds are currently hovering just two places above the relegation zone, and although they have an eight-point advantage over 18th-placed Burnley, the Clarets have two games in hand.

A significant injury to star midfielder Kalvin Phillips has ruled the England international out until March, worsening their situation and emphasising the need for reinforcements.

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And McKennie could be the ideal candidate to solve their engine room woes.

Over the last year, the North American is in the 99th percentile for players in his position in terms of touches in the opposition penalty area and progressive passes received, while also being in the 96th percentile for non-penalty goals, as per FBref.com.

His quality in the final third would certainly add another element to Leeds’ play, adding some much-need firepower to their underwhelming attack.

Read More – January Transfer Window 2022: When does it open, when does it close and which players are going to move?

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