Rodrigo De Paul to Leeds United was one rumour that lingered throughout the summer transfer window, but it appears cold water has already been poured on the potential of that happening this month…
Marcelo Bielsa and his side were beaten 3-0 by Spurs over the weekend as they struggled to break down the north London outfit, which left many supporters pondering whether they would reignite their interest in the Udinese midfielder.
In his post-match Q&A, The Athletic’s Phil Hay was asked about the potential of the Yorkshire giants making a move for De Paul once again, to which he replied:
“They took a good look at De Paul but were a long way short of his asking price. I don’t think they’d mind if this window passed off quietly. The summer is where they’ll do more concerted business.”
It’s thought that he would cost around €40m (£36m).
This is an interesting development as it probably solidifies their intentions to merely remain in the Premier League this term, before giving it a proper go next season.
Indeed, the Whites are sitting comfortably in 12th place, some 12 points clear of the relegation zone, so perhaps they should put such plans in motion sooner rather than later – especially as they are only two wins outside of the top seven.
De Paul could provide the boost they need to start unlocking some of the top teams in this division.
The 26-year-old Argentine has continued to impress in Serie A this term, contributing to five goals from midfield, whilst also averaging 3.4 dribbles, 2.5 key passes and 2.2 shots per game, via WhoScored.
For comparison, this is nearly triple what Helder Costa is managing for dribbles and eclipses every single player in the Leeds squad for key passes. That’s undoubtedly an instant upgrade right there.
Ex-Leeds stopper Paul Robinson urged United to sign De Paul in the summer, dubbing the maestro a “clever player” who “can see a pass going forward,” which was echoed by Smarterscout’s Dan Altman, who said: “he seems like a great fit for Bielsa’s Leeds.”
Failure to land him this window could leave Bielsa reeling. The Yorkshiremen sat back and watched Emi Buendia join Norwich City from their partnered club Cultural Leonesa in 2018.
Also born in Argentina, the Canaries playmaker went onto rank fourth behind the likes of Kevin De Bruyne and Trent Alexander-Arnold for chances created in the 2019/20 campaign despite being relegated.
Imagine if De Paul is claimed by someone else? After all, he’s not short of suitors as Italian giants Juventus were also linked with his signature. That would be unforgivable.
AND in other news, LUFC must offload rarely-seen dud costing £500k-per-game since 2019/20…