Leeds United are facing a barrage of pressure to sell their best assets this summer from Europe’s elite as Jesse Marsch’s squad is gutted.
Fortunately, Victor Orta and co have methods in place to counter this.
One player who looks extremely likely to leave Elland Road this summer is Raphinha. The Brazilian was the subject of interest from Arsenal before Chelsea became favourites but his favourite destination, Barcelona, are still very much a factor in this saga.
If the former Rennes star does depart, then a player of interest to Leeds is Cody Gakpo, a forward who would appear to be the perfect replacement.
That’s according to one Italian journalist on Tweeted on Saturday the following news: “Leeds are also in talks with Gakpo’s agent. Now the club is focused on selling Raphinha to maximize profits.”
It’s thought the PSV Eindhoven man will cost around £34m according to further reports.
Losing Raphinha will be a bitter blow to Leeds’ chances of staying up next term. Without him last season, they would have been relegated with the Brazil international very much picking up the bottom from injury-stricken Patrick Bamford when it came to scoring the goals.
He ended the 2021/22 campaign as Leeds’ top scorer, finding the net on 11 occasions. That might not be a barrage of goals but he was an effervescent and radiant threat in the attack third, often causing plenty of problems for opposition defences.
Gakpo, however, would be a worthy heir to his throne on the flanks at Elland Road.
Capable of featuring on either wing, as well as through the middle in a centre-forward role, the Dutchman would offer Marsch and co a great deal of flexibility in his front line.
With that in mind, it’s hardly a surprise that Gakpo has been described as a “supreme talent” by Pain in the Arsenal. The Gunners have also been eyeing the winger so any move will have to be wrapped up swiftly, particularly with Mikel Arteta’s men now seeking alternatives to Leeds’ very own Raphinha.
A move at such a price would be a gamble considering he has no experience in Europe’s top five leagues but they need more goals, and Gakpo will certainly provide that.
Orta must conclude a deal as quickly as possible; he’d be supreme at Elland Road.