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Leeds: Orta eyeing deal for Nicolas Raskin

Leeds United are believed to be keen on a deal for Standard Liege midfielder Nicolas Raskin, with the player facing an uncertain future in Belgium.

What’s the word?

As per La Derniere Heure, the 21-year-old is a player that the Elland Road outfit are ‘following’ this summer, with the report suggesting that he ‘could leave in the next few weeks’ due to his current contract situation.

The young Belgian’s existing deal is set to expire next summer and he is yet to sign an extension to stay at the club, with his current side now keen to cash in to avoid losing him for nothing in 12 months’ time.

Despite interest from fellow Pro League sides Genk and Club Brugge, the report outlines that the chances of the 5 foot 10 playmaker staying in his homeland are ‘slim’, with the player – who is set to cost around €5m (£4.3m) – seemingly favouring a move abroad.

All of that means that the Whites have received a positive green light to make a swoop this summer.

Imagine him and Roca

This news comes amid claims that sporting director Victor Orta is close to finalising a deal for Bayern Munich midfielder Marc Roca, with the Spaniard set to become the club’s third signing of the summer following the arrivals of Red Bull Salzburg duo Rasmus Kristensen and Brenden Aaronson.

It would appear then that manager Jesse Marsch is plotting a midfield revamp this summer, with the Yorkshire side potentially set to be able to form a dynamic Roca-Raskin partnership in the centre of the park.

With Kalvin Phillips potentially on his way to Manchester City, new midfield additions are imperative this summer, particularly with the club’s resources having been stretched thin due to injury last term.

While the aforementioned Roca can act as the playmaking “quarter-back” – as he has been described by former Bayern technical director Michael Reschke – at the base of the midfield, alongside him Raskin can serve as the relentless “pitbull”, as he has been dubbed by journalist Bob Faesen.

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The £4.5m-rated gem enjoyed a fine campaign last time out for his current side, netting once and providing four assists from his 29 league outings – 28 of which came as starts – albeit with his most impressive attribute having been his ball-winning ability, averaging 2.6 tackles per game.

While the incoming Roca can act as the deep-lying anchor, the £1.9k-per-week machine can provide a more robust, aggressive presence ahead of him, having been labelled a “box-to-box midfielder” by Faesen.

There may not be Premier League experience in that pairing, but there is no doubt quality, with Leeds seemingly set to benefit from a handful of fresh faces in the engine room.

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