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Leeds: Victor Orta dealt potential setback in Ismaila Sarr pursuit

Leeds United may have been dealt a setback in their bid to bring Ismaila Sarr to Elland Road this summer.

What’s the talk?

That’s according to Graeme Bailey, with the 90min journalist revealing in a recent post on Twitter that, after Manchester United decided to back away from a move for Marko Arnautovic, Erik ten Hag’s side have now turned their attention towards the Watford forward – for whom the Championship side are reported to be demanding a figure in the region of £29m.

This news is sure to come as a blow to Victor Orta and Jesse Marsch alike, as Leeds have also been credited with an interest in the Senegal international’s signing prior to the closure of the summer transfer window at the start of September.

In his tweet, the journalist said: “Another attacking option now under consideration for Man Utd is Watford’s Ismaila Sarr. Previously linked to Old Trafford. Has a lot of Premier League interest in taking him back to the top-flight.”

A blow for Orta

Considering just how exciting an addition Sarr would have made to Marsch’s attacking options at Elland Road, the news that Manchester United have now entered the race for the 24-year-old will undoubtedly have come as a setback to Orta.

Indeed, the £24.3m-rated talent boasts a wealth of Premier League experience, having scored an impressive ten goals and registered eight assists over his 50 outings in the top flight of English football for the Hornets.

What makes these returns all the more impressive is the fact that, in both of the two campaigns Sarr’s 50 Premier League fixtures have come over, Watford have finished the season in the bottom three – demonstrating that the winger can still return decent numbers even while playing for a team struggling towards the foot of the table.

As such, were the former Stade Rennais starlet who Troy Deeney dubbed “unbelievable” to secure a move to a side with greater resource than the Hornets – which Leeds very much currently represent – it can reasonably be assumed that the Senegalese sensation’s returns in the final third would only improve.

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However, with Manchester United likely to be able to offer the £63k-per-week attacker a much larger salary than the one Orta would be able to put forward, in addition to possessing the further lure of European football, the Whites’ sporting director will certainly have his work cut out if he is to convince the Watford forward of a move to Elland Road ahead of one to Old Trafford this summer.