Leeds United are set to miss out on Stade Brest’s Romain Perraud as another Premier League side swoops in.
According to previous reports from The Athletic‘s Phil Hay, the Whites were eyeing a summer transfer move for the 23-year-old, before The Mirror’s David Anderson poured cold water on that suggestion by claiming recently that Bielsa’s side had actually moved on from their chase of Perraud, and that the Yorkshire club were “no longer trying to sign” him.
Then, according to French publication L’Equipe (via Get French Football News), it was suggested the Whites were actually in talks with Brest over a deal for Perraud, but that they were set to face significant competition from the likes of Newcastle and Southampton.
Now, The Athletic have claimed that it’s the Saints who are closing in on the signing of Perraud and that “Ralph Hasenhuttl has met with the left-back and it’s understood that Perraud has made it clear he wants to sign for the south-coast side”.
Given reports had suggested that Leeds had identified Perraud as their “leading target” to replace Gjanni Alioski at left-back this summer, and that this decision had come after recruitment meetings between Bielsa and Victor Orta, it’s surely a major blow for the Whites to miss out on the Frenchman
Writing a profile piece for The Athletic, Hay previously said: “Perraud, 23, played for France up to under-20s level and his performance data shows characteristics which would meet Bielsa requirements: a creative edge and a high number of dribbles and shots for a player at his position, combined with a very active role in pressing defensively.”
And, as per WhoScored, Perraud outshone Gjanni Alioski in numerous key categories both offensively and defensively last season, averaging more interceptions, key passes, shots, dribbles and crosses, while also being dribbled past only half as often as the Leeds full-back.
While Junior Firpo’s arrival would offset Perraud moving to Southampton, Bielsa will surely be gutted at missing out one of his prime targets this summer.