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Leeds: Pete O’Rourke drops Adama Traore claim

Journalist Pete O’Rourke has provided an update regarding Leeds United‘s reported interest in Wolverhampton Wanderers man, Adama Traore.

What’s the word?

Speaking to GIVEMESPORT, the transfer insider revealed that sporting director Victor Orta is driving the pursuit of the dynamic Spaniard, following reports that the Elland Road outfit are interested in the 26-year-old.

O’Rourke stated:

“Victor Orta, the Leeds United head of recruitment, is a huge fan of Adama Traore having previously worked with him at Middlesbrough and has been chasing him for a long time, so it’s a deal that he will definitely try and push over the line.”

The one-time Aston Villa man had spent the second half of last season on loan at La Liga giants Barcelona, although is set to return to his parent club this summer with the Nou Camp outfit unable to afford his reported £29m buy option, due to their ongoing financial crisis.

With just a year remaining on his deal at Molineux, the eight-cap gem is set to fetch in the region of £18m, with the Yorkshire side having previously been linked with a deal last summer during Marcelo Bielsa’s time in charge.

Raphinha heir

The desire for a new attacking addition in the current window has been heightened by the seemingly imminent departure of talisman Raphinha, with the Brazilian ace looking set to join fellow Premier League side, Arsenal, this summer.

Replacing the 25-year-old’s 29 goal contributions from the last two top-flight campaigns combined will undoubtedly be difficult, as too will be replacing his influence on the game, with the £17m addition having posed a constant threat down either flank with his speed and trickery.

In Traore, however, Orta has identified a player who can perhaps offer an even greater attacking threat, with the “unique” colossus – as dubbed by former boss Nuno Espirito Santo – a simply rare asset for any side.

While his attacking output has been poor in recent seasons in truth, with just eight goals and 14 assists in his Premier League career thus far, the £18m-rated man did impress on his brief return to Catalonia, registering four assists in all competitions for Xavi’s side.

An improvement on that end product is needed, although it is his explosive pace and immense power that makes the £46k-per-week machine such an eye-catching and devastating presence, with the former Middlesbrough man a simply unstoppable force on the counter-attack.

Unsurprisingly, the statistics reinforce that claim, as he ranks in the top 1% for dribbles completed and in the top 3% for progressive carries among those in his position across Europe’s top five leagues, showcasing his brilliance in dragging his side up the pitch.

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Described as a “freak” by journalist Tim Spiers, the 5 foot 10 menace would seemingly suit the often relentless, high-octane style that is on show at Elland Road, with it a mouthwatering thought as to the carnage he could cause while willed on by frenzied home support.

Undoubtedly, the loss of Raphinha would be a blow for next season’s preparations, although in Traore the Whites can find his perfect heir.

AND in other news: Fabrizio Romano now reveals “crucial” transfer development, it’s great news for Leeds