The Athletic journalist Phil Hay has revealed that Udinese star Rodrigo de Paul still wants to come to Leeds United, and refused to rule out a potential summer transfer.
Reports over the course of the previous summer transfer window suggested that De Paul was a key target for Marcelo Bielsa’s side, with Hay himself claiming that Leeds’ interest in the midfielder remained serious.
Now, writing for The Athletic, the journalist has delivered an update on the £31.5m-rated ace, saying: “De Paul wants to come. He’s not making any secret of that. But Leeds didn’t push it much last summer and didn’t get involved with him at all in this window. I’d never say never because he looks like a decent fit but Leeds have always seemed a bit indifferent about it. Maybe that will change when the season ends.”
Having failed to sign De Paul in the summer, and having also missed out on fellow midfield target Michael Cuisance after issues over his medical, it’s clear that Leeds are keen on strengthening their squad in that engine room.
And with Hay revealing that De Paul still wants to come to Elland Road, it’s all perfectly set up for Victor Orta to go back in for the Argentine.
The 26-year-old has been an ever-present for Udinese in Serie A this season, playing every single minute in the Italian side’s league campaign until he was sent off at the weekend.
His dynamism and box-to-box style has brought him five goals in 20 league games, and his all-action displays are something that would surely fit in seamlessly with Leeds’ intense running.
Speaking to The Yorkshire Evening Post, Smarterscout’s Dan Altman said: “There aren’t any central midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues who can match Rodrigo de Paul’s style of play and his pitch coverage.
“He’s most active in the right channel, crossing midfield, but he can pop up almost anywhere. He’s an avid defender, and his attacking contribution is huge at a Premier League standard. He’s Argentine and has enormous output on both sides of the ball, so he seems like a great fit for Bielsa’s Leeds.”
Whilst Erick Pulgar of Fiorentina has been the name Leeds fans have come to know over these past few weeks following reports of a move in the January transfer window, De Paul should be the priority.
The Argentine is keen to join Leeds, and was a key target last summer. The end of the season could be the perfect time for a move to finally be made.