Leeds: Victor Orta 'would love' £30m star at Elland Road

Leeds United ‘would love’ to sign Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodrigo de Paul in the upcoming summer transfer window, according to journalist Dean Jones.

The Whites were heavily linked with a move for the 27-year-old over the last two summers before he completed a €35 million (£30m) move to the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium from Udinese.

What is the latest news involving De Paul?

De Paul established himself as one of the brightest talents in Serie A during a five-year stay with the Bianconeri, registering 34 goals and 36 assists in 184 appearances.

His impressive displays in Italian football earned the creative talent a move to the reigning La Liga champions last July, but things have not gone as planned.

The Argentina international has racked up just four goal contributions in his 40 outings across all competitions this season and has often been deployed in an unfamiliar deep-lying midfield role.

Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport has claimed that De Paul is ‘not happy’ under manager Diego Simeone and that Inter Milan could attempt to bring him back to Serie A.

Diario AS (via TEAMtalk) also claim that a meeting of Atletico’s first-team squad saw all but De Paul agree to a pay cut in the case of failure to qualify for the Champions League.

And although the South American was eventually persuaded to change his mind, the damage may already have been done.

What has Jones said about De Paul?

Jones has revealed that Leeds’ director of football Victor Orta ‘loves’ De Paul, but he believes the talented star may be ‘beyond their reach at the moment’.

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He told GiveMeSport: “Victor Orta loves him, but I just think he’s beyond their reach at the moment. I mean, financially, I’m not sure that they can go there at the moment.

“He’ll be linked with some massive clubs and be on big wages. So, while I’m sure they would love him, I would imagine he’s beyond their reach at this point.”

Do Leeds need De Paul?

Leeds scored goals for fun last term, bagging 62 strikes in their 38 Premier League games, four more than fourth-placed Chelsea.

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However, their threat in front of goal has been somewhat dampened this time around, largely due to Patrick Bamford’s injury issues and Jack Harrison’s drop-off in form.

After scoring just 38 times in their 33 league games to date an attacking midfielder may well be at the top of Leeds’ wish list, yet a move for De Paul could be a little ambitious.

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