Victor Orta could land Marcelo Bielsa’s dream player in Cagliari midfielder Nahitan Nandez.
Reports in recent weeks had suggested that Marcelo Bielsa is eyeing up a summer move for the 25-year-old, with Italian publication La Nuova Sardegna even claiming that the Whites were ready to pay the €36m (£31m) release clause in order to bring him to Elland Road.
Fabrizio Romano then appeared to dash Leeds’ hopes by suggesting that Serie A giants Inter had opened talks over landing Nandez themselves.
And now, speaking exclusively to FFC, Connor Clancy, editor-in-chief at Forza Italian Football, said: “If Leeds could get him, that would be one of the signings of the summer in the Premier League. But I do see it as increasingly unlikely that the deal will be done now.”
Reports first emerged last year that Leeds were keen on signing the Uruguay international, and it’s clear that the midfielder is a long-term target of Bielsa’s and would also offer a lot at Elland Road were he to join.
Speaking to This Is Futbol, Clancy said: “Anywhere Bielsa wants to play him, he’d do a job. I like him a lot. I think he’s only about five foot seven, but you wouldn’t know it if you just watched clips of him, he is a little bit of a machine. He’s so powerful but at the same time, has really, really good ball control.”
According to Sofascore, he averaged 1.8 tackles and won an impressive 6.1 duels per game in Serie A last season, which favours well compared to Leeds talisman Kalvin Phillips – the Whites ace averaged 2.6 tackles and won 5.3 duels per match in the Premier League last season.
His performances for Cagliari even led journalist Mina Rzouki to say: “Cagliari’s Nandez is one of the most underrated players. God he’s been so amazing, especially in Cagliari’s last 3 games. He scored the equaliser against Napoli. Man of the match in the win against Udinese. Against Roma – just wow. Unstoppable.”
With that tireless work-rate and ability to cover the ground so effortlessly, the £19.8m-rated Nandez appears to be the dream midfield player for Bielsa-ball at Elland Road.