Leeds United could be facing late transfer misery over Cagliari’s Nahitan Nandez as a fresh twist emerges in their pursuit of the midfielder.
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.
However, Il Giorno has now claimed (via Cagliari News 24) that Serie A giants Inter have joined the fray to sign Nandez, and that their offer could include the the likes of Radja Nainggolan and Andrea Pinamonti in a deal.
The report added that Inter will not give up on his signing.
After reports emerged last year that Leeds were keen on signing Nandez, it’s clear that the Uruguayan has been a real key target for Bielsa as the manager looks to beef up his central midfield positions.
Connor Clancy, editor-in-chief at Forza Italian Football, has previously raved about what Nandez could bring to the table at Leeds, telling This Is Futbol: “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.”
Given the fact that he had a release clause in his contract, Leeds knew exactly what they needed to do if they were serious about signing him, rather than delaying or wasting time over potentially haggling a fee.
Now that they’ve left it so long to do so means that rival clubs can swoop in at the last moment, and that appears to be the case with Inter now arriving on the scene.
It’s exactly why Bielsa must be livid that one of his main targets – who he had reportedly insisted on signing this summer – could fall through the club’s grasp.
It would be a major blow to the Leeds manager were Nandez to move somewhere other than Elland Road this summer.
Meanwhile, Leeds must sign this player Bielsa loves…