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Leeds: Victor Orta discovers Ismaila Sarr asking price

Leeds United have discovered the asking price of their reported summer transfer target Ismaila Sarr.

What’s the talk?

That’s according to a report by Football League World, who claim that sources have revealed that Watford will be demanding a figure in the region of £25m in order to part with the 24-year-old forward prior to September’s transfer deadline – a considerably lower fee than the €35m (£29m) figure Foot Mercato had suggested the Hornets would be looking for last week.

This is sure to come as a huge boost to Victor Orta and the Whites, with the Spaniard reported to have identified the Senegal international as a potential option to add to Jesse Marsch’s attacking arsenal ahead of the bulk of the club’s 2022/23 campaign, while Manchester United are also reported to be keen on the signing of the former Stade Rennais starlet this summer.

Raphinha 2.0

With Leeds having lost the services of their star attacking talent Raphinha this summer, it is not difficult to understand why the Whites’ director of football would be interested in a deal to bring Sarr into Elland Road as the Brazilian’s long-term replacement.

Indeed, there are a number of very clear similarities between the two talents, the first of which comes where the duo both cut their teeth in the professional game – Stade Rennais.

Prior to Sarr’s £40m move to Vicarage Road back in the summer of 2019, the £24.3m-rated talent had proven himself as one of the Ligue 1 side’s brightest prospects, scoring 18 goals and registering 16 assists across 77 appearances for Les Rouge et Noir.

It is a similar story for Raphinha, as, before the 25-year-old sealed his £17m move to Elland Road back in October 2020, the £40.5m-rated forward also proved himself to be one of Rennais’ most exciting talents, bagging eight goals and providing seven assists over his 36 appearances for the club.

Both players also highly impressed following their respective moves to the top flight of English football, with Sarr scoring ten goals and registering eight assists over his 50 Premier League appearances for the Hornets – in addition to notching a further 14 goals and 11 assists over 41 Championship fixtures – while Raphinha scored 17 goals and provided 12 assists over 65 top flight outings for the Whites.

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Further still, both the Watford star and the now-Barcelona forward are also extremely talented carriers of the ball, with the former completing an average of 1.7 and 1.5 dribbles per game in 2019/20 and 2021/22 respectively, while the latter completed an average of 1.9 and 1.8 dribbles per fixture in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 campaigns.

As such, considering the incredibly similar profile of Brazilian and the £71k-per-week player who Ben Foster dubbed a “freak“, it is not hard to understand why Orta would be targeting a move for the 24-year-old over the remainder of the summer transfer window, as the Senegalese sensation could well prove to be the Whites’ next Raphinha on the right wing.