Leeds United have been given the green light to bring Mergim Berisha to Elland Road in the summer transfer window.
That’s according to Kaan Bayazit, with the Turkish journalist revealing in a recent interview with MOT Leeds News that, following several reports linking Victor Orta with a move for the Fenerbahce SK centre-forward in recent weeks, the Super Lig side would be willing to part with the 24-year-old for a figure in the region of £5m this summer.
Speaking about the Whites’ interest in the former Germany U21 international, Bayazit said:
“He’s been a bit of a disappointment at Fenerbahce but they paid close to £4.5m for him so they’d like a bit more than that – which would take this north of £5m.
“He is up for sale and I imagine if [Jesse] Marsch worked with him before then it’s down to that. He did do decently at RB Salzburg.
“At RB Salzburg he often played as a second striker, at Fenerbahce he was expected to function alone up top more – but that didn’t really work out.”
While it is true that, following his £4.5m move to Fenerbahce last summer, things did not exactly work out for the Berisha – scoring seven goals and registering three assists over 31 fixtures for the Super Lig side last term – considering just how impressive the forward was under Jesse Marsch at Red Bull Salzburg, it is not difficult to see why the American would like to bring the 24-year-old to Elland Road ahead of the Whites’ 2022/23 campaign.
Indeed, over his 52 appearances for Die Roten Bullen during the 48-year-old manager’s time in the Red Bull Arena dugout, the £5.4m-rated hitman was in exceptional form, scoring 23 goals and providing 14 assists for the Austrian outfit.
His best campaign under Marsch undoubtedly came back in 2020/21, when the £29k-per-week striker scored 14 goals, registered 10 assists and created 13 big chances over his 28 Austrian Bundesliga fixtures, as well as taking an average of 2.7 shots – 1.7 of which hit the target – making 1.3 key passes and completing 0.5 dribbles per game.
These returns saw the striker who Max Camilleri dubbed “amazing” average an extremely impressive SofaScore match rating of 7.28, not only ranking him as the 48-year-old’s fifth-best performer in the league but also as the joint seventh-best player in the top flight of Austrian football as a whole.
That same season, the 24-year-old also caught the eye over his six outings in the Champions League, scoring four goals, registering two assists and creating three big chances for his teammates, in addition to taking an average of 2.8 shots – 1.5 of which hit the target – making 1.5 key passes and completing 1.5 dribbles per game.
These metrics saw the German average a rather remarkable SofaScore match rating of 7.18, a quite astonishing feat considering the fact Salzburg were in a group alongside Bayern Munich, Atletico Madrid and Lokomotiv Moscow that year.
As such, should Marsch be able to help Berisha refind this level of form after a potential switch to Elland Road this summer, the 13-cap Germany U21 international could very easily prove to be one of Leeds’ best signings of the window – especially for a reported fee of just £5m.