Leeds United are set to miss out on Toulouse midfielder Kouadio Kone based on Fabrizio Romano’s recent transfer update.
Reports in recent days and weeks had suggested the 19-year-old was on the radar of Marcelo Bielsa’s side with the January transfer window now open.
But, according to Romano, it’s Bundesliga outfit Borussia Monchengladbach who have stolen a march on the Premier League side, and look set to snap Kone up.
The journalist claims that a €9m (£8m) bid is set to be accepted with personal terms agreed, and that Kone is just “one step away” from joining Monchengladbach,
At just 19, and with a transfer fee that is every bit as affordable in this modern day market, Kone could have been a real bargain for Leeds and Bielsa.
The central midfielder is already racking up considerable first-team experience with Toulouse, and this season has seen him play 17 games for the Ligue 2 side.
His agent, Johan Chretien, declared: “Manu is part of the French top 5 (born in) 2001, and number 1 in his post. Like all the talents of his generation, it is natural that Manu is followed by the best European clubs. Manu is destined to play in the best European leagues. Today, he is in his training club and is giving everything to progress.”
Whilst agents are always likely to talk up their clients, Chretien isn’t completely wide of the mark in tipping Kone for an incredibly bright future. The young Frenchman already showed signs of his talent by playing for Toulouse when they were still in Ligue 1, and Victor Orta should surely have put the money on the table to try and bring him to Elland Road.
It would have given Bielsa some much-needed strength in depth in that central midfield role, where players like Mateusz Klich and Kalvin Phillips have played an incredible number of games over the past few seasons. Missing out on Kone won’t have made the Leeds boss happy.