Leeds United are back in the Premier League, though they’ll need strength in depth if they are to truly contend and not follow the same path of Norwich City this season.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, via Sport Witness, the Yorkshire giants have held talks with Serie A outfit AS Roma over a potential move for defensive midfielder Amadou Diawara.
It’s claimed that Arsenal are also keen on signing the 23-year-old, resulting in doubt in the Italian capital over where the player’s future may lie.
Roma are wanting €30m (£27m) for his services, just a year after signing him from league rivals Napoli.
Currently, Marcelo Bielsa only has one out-and-out lynchpin in Kalvin Phillips – during his absences throughout their title-winning campaign, centre-backs Ben White and Pascal Struijk have filled in.
But in Diawara, they could land a genuine alternative option that’s very much in the same mould to the Englishman.
Per WhoScored, the Guinea international averaged 1.8 tackles, 1.5 interceptions and 3.2 long balls per game in the Serie A this term – the latter is particularly impressive as he still managed just under a 90% passing accuracy.
Diawara has been tipped as the heir to Daniele De Rossi’s throne, mainly due to that aforementioned passing ability. Roma fan page Chiesa Di Totti claims “he can make a long-distance pinpoint pass seem easier than putting your shoes on in the morning.”
The 6-foot powerhouse has also been likened to Claude Makelele, so if he were to come in at Elland Road and have half the impact of the Chelsea enforcer, then United would certainly be onto a major winner.
Bielsa can’t afford to risk a lack of squad depth to such a crucial component to his system, thus a move for Diawara would make the world of sense, even at £27m.
He’d be a dream second-fiddle.
AND in other news, Phil Hay confirms Leeds close to clinching a new signing…