Dean Jones has dropped an update on the future of former Leeds United transfer target Rodrigo de Paul.
In a recent interview with GIVEMESPORT, the journalist and transfer insider stated his belief that, despite recent reports suggesting that the central midfielder is looking to secure a move away from Atletico Madrid, the 27-year-old would more than likely be out of Leeds United’s price range this summer.
However, Jones did go on to state that Victor Orta, the man who saw a €35m (£29.5m) bid rejected for the Argentina international back in the summer of 2020, would still love to bring De Paul to Elland Road.
When asked whether the Whites could once again launch an offensive for the Atleti midfielder this summer, Jones said: “Victor Orta loves him, but I just think he’s beyond their reach at the moment.
“I mean, financially, I’m not sure that they can go there at the moment. He’ll be linked with some massive clubs and be on big wages. So, while I’m sure they would love him, I would imagine he’s beyond their reach at this point.”
While it is true that the player who Atletico spent €35m (£29.5m) on and handed a five-year contract on a reported £107k-per-week last July will not likely come cheap this summer, considering just how talented a player De Paul quite clearly is, if the midfielder is available this summer, Orta simply must make a move for the 27-year-old.
Despite not enjoying the best campaign of his career at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium this season – having started just 21 LaLiga fixtures under Diego Simeone – the £59m-rated dynamo nevertheless proved during his final year at Udinese that, when given the opportunity, he can be a key player for his club.
Indeed, over his 36 Serie A appearances last term, the Argentine was in breathtaking form for the Bianconeri, scoring nine goals, registering nine assists and creating a quite astonishing 20 big chances – the joint-most in the league – for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 2.3 shots, making 2.3 key passes and completing 3.4 dribbles per game.
The 39-time capped international also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, making an average of 40.7 passes, 0.5 interceptions, 1.1 tackles, 4.5 long balls and winning 8.1 duels – at a success rate of 60% – per fixture.
These returns saw the player who Charlie Wilson dubbed “absolutely sensational” and Roy Nemer labelled both a “monster” and “unplayable” average an incredible SofaScore match rating of 7.53, not only ranking him as Udinese’s best performer in the Italian top flight but also as the second-best player in the league as a whole.
As such, should there even be the slightest chance of Leeds signing De Paul this summer, Orta simply must make a move for the 27-year-old, as he would undoubtedly help to transform the Whites’ midfield under Jesse Marsch next season.