Leeds United have been given the green light to pursue a deal for Arnaud Kalimuendo amid a telling update over PSG’s stance over his sale.
The Whites are looking to add to their strikeforce this summer as they seek cover and competition for Patrick Bamford. The England cap missed a large portion of last season due to a series of niggling injuries. And in his absence, Leeds lacked a telling presence up front.
As such, the club have been actively pursuing a number of potential options. Their top target was Charles De Ketelaere, but Leeds were ultimately beaten to the punch by Italian giants AC Milan.
Undaunted, Leeds are chasing a number of other options, with Martin Terrier a possible option. And on Tuesday evening, links to Watford forward Ismaila Sarr also emerged, with the Senegalese attacker ‘tempted’ by the potential move.
However, it seems their next top target is PSG star Kalimuendo.
The 20-year-old forward is back in the Paris Saint-Germain ranks after a two-year spell with Lens. He impressed with the Ligue 1 outfit, scoring 21 goals in 65 appearances for them.
Leeds have reportedly seen one offer rejected, while a second offer in the £21m bracket has reportedly been lodged. To that end, TEAMtalk contributor Graeme Bailey claims the basic principles around the deal have been agreed.
“The broad principle of the deal is agreed,” he said.
“As with a lot of these deals, agreeing a fee can sometimes be the easiest bit, all of these deals are very different. In Leeds’ case here, agreeing the terms with PSG isn’t the issue, but he’s come back from pre-season and performed very well.
“Christophe Galtier has come in and likes what he is seeing, he’s a very good player.
Galtier likely to be overruled on Arnaud Kalimuendo sale
“Luis Campos, the sporting director, he was looking to move him on. It’s not off, it’s just purely stalled.”
As such, Galtier apparent reluctance to sell explains why the deal appears to have slowed down in recent weeks.
The new PSG coach brought Kalimuendo on the club’s PSG’s tour of Japan recently and he impressed with goals against Urawa Reds and Kawasaki.
However, competition for shirts is fierce at PSG. Indeed, they have Lionel Messi, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Hugo Ekitike and Mauro Icardi also on their books.
As such, it seems Campos will ultimately have his way and Kalimuendo will be sold.
That’s certainly the stance being taken by CBS journalist Ben Jacobs. He is convinced PSG are willing to sell the France U21 striker this summer.
Tweeting, he said: “Kalimuendo very possible [for Leeds United] despite Galtier really liking him. Campos is happy to sell for the right price. Be a very good signing if Leeds can pull it off.”
Competition fierce for striker
That said, interest appears to be growing in Kalimuendo by the day. As well as Leeds, Premier League rivals Newcastle are also reportedly keen. Their is interest too from Nice, while on Tuesday it was claimed that Inter Milan are also lurking.
However, Leeds can still get this deal done if they act quickly and effectively. For too long, Leeds left their bid for De Ketelaere sitting on the table with Brugges. And while all that was going on, they were potentially missing the chance to see other deals wrapped up.
The club cannot afford a repeat if they are serious about Kalimuendo. His direct running and impressive eye for goal would surely fit in with the style of play Jesse Marsch is trying to implement.
Capable of playing across the frontline, he would surely thrive with the likes of Brenden Aaronson and Joe Gelhardt behind him.
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Leeds United, though, may need to agree a compromise over any deal for Arnaud Kalimuendo. With PSG very much admirers of the striker, it would come as no surprise were they to insist on a buy-back clause.
If the terms of this are right – with the deal giving Leeds at least two years to enjoy the player and allowing them a profit – then that is an agreement they should agree to.