Leeds United are interested in a deal to bring Matheus Nunes to Elland Road in the summer transfer window.
That’s according to a report by Portuguese publication Record (via MOT Leeds News), who claim that Victor Orta has been monitoring the situation of the Sporting Lisbon midfielder for a number of months, and recently went as far as to make contact with the Portuguese club’s director of football Hugo Viana in order to discuss a move for the 23-year-old.
The report goes on to state that Viana subsequently informed the Spaniard that Leeds would have to pay €50m (£42m) to sign the Portugal international this summer, while further reports have suggested that Chelsea, Liverpool and Wolves are also keen on a move for Nunes ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
Considering just how exciting a prospect Nunes undoubtedly is, it is not difficult to see why Orta would be interested in a deal to add the midfielder to Jesse Marsch’s first team squad ahead of Leeds’ 2022/23 campaign.
Indeed, over his 33 Liga Portugal appearances last season, the £31.5m-rated talent was in remarkable form for Ruben Amorim’s side, scoring three goals, registering two assists and creating six big chances for his teammates, as well as completing an average of 0.7 key passes, 1.3 tackles, 0.9 interceptions, 2.5 dribbles and winning 6.5 duels – at a success rate of 55% – per game.
The 23-year-old also caught the eye over his six Champions League fixtures in 2021/22, providing his team-mates with two assists and completing 3.3 dribbles, two tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 0.8 key passes and winning 7.2 duels (at a success rate of 55%) per game.
These metrics saw the player who Jacek Kulig dubbed “superb” and Pep Guardiola labelled “one of the best players in the world” average an admirable SofaScore match rating of 6.87, playing a key role in Sporting’s run to the knockout stages of Europe’s most prestigious club competition.
Furthermore, as a result of Nunes’ remarkable ability with the ball at his feet, the Brazil-born midfielder has drawn comparisons to Seleção legend Kaka, with Luiz Phellype stating of the youngster in an interview with ESPN earlier this year:
“What stands out is his intensity in games and his power. It’s a style very similar to that of Kaka… he has a very wide stride and puts the ball in front, it’s very difficult for someone to stop him. In the season that Sporting was champion, he made many plays, goals and assists in that way, so much so that Tite called him up [to the Brazil squad].”
The Sporting starlet has a long way to go before he can sincerely be compared to the 2007 Ballon D’Or winner, who scored 133 goals and provided 128 assists over 425 appearances for AC Milan and Real Madrid.
However, should Orta manage to get a £42m deal over the line for Nunes this summer, it is undeniable that the Spaniard will have captured an incredibly gifted and exciting talent – not to mention a player that the Elland Road faithful would surely love to see in LS11.