Leeds United are closing in on a deal to bring Nahitan Nandez to Elland Road this summer.
That’s according to a report by Italian publication Corriere dello Sport (via Sport Witness), who claim that Marcelo Bielsa’s side are very close to completing a deal for the Cagliari Calcio central midfielder, with the Whites having only a few details to sort out before the 25-year-old makes a move to the Premier League club.
The report goes on to state that, despite both Inter Milan and ACF Fiorentina believed to be keen on the Uruguay international, neither side have made a concrete offer for Nandez, leaving Leeds with something of a clear run at the £19.8m-rated man, who is thought to have a €36m (£31m) release clause in his Cagliari contract.
Considering just how impressive Nandez was for Cagliari last season, in addition to how important the midfielder has been for Uruguay at this summer’s Copa America, the news that Leeds appear close to getting a deal over the line for the 25-year-old is sure to have left Bielsa buzzing.
Indeed, over his 32 Serie A appearances for Leonardo Semplici’s side last term, the industrious midfielder made an average of 0.7 interceptions, 1.8 tackles, 1.5 clearances and won 6.1 duels per game.
The £42k-per-week man also impressed for his side in an attacking capacity, scoring two goals, registering two assists and creating four big chances for his teammates, as well as making an average of one key pass per league fixture.
These returns saw Nandez earn a seasonal SofaScore match rating of 6.80, ranking him as Cagliari’s 11th-best performer in the Italian top flight, playing a huge role in ensuring the Sardinian side retained their status as a Serie A team.
The 25-year-old has also featured in every game for Oscar Tabarez’s Uruguay side at the Copa America this summer, making an average of 1.7 tackles and winning an average of 5.7 duels over his three appearances in the competition, averaging a SofaScore match rating of 6.77, helping his side progress to the knockout stages with one group game to spare.
Aside from his impressive displays for club and country, another reason as to why Nandez would be a smart signing for Leeds is the fact that Bielsa currently has no real backup for Kalvin Phillips in the middle of the park, an issue which must be addressed this summer if the Whites wish to push on from their impressive ninth-place finish last season.
As such, if Leeds are indeed close to getting a deal over the line for the man whom Serie A expert Conor Clancy dubbed a “powerful” midfielder and a “machine” this summer, he would appear to be a brilliant first signing of the window for Victor Orta to bring into the club.