Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Arnaud Kalimuendo: Leeds given transfer lift as PSG make final call on striker’s future, but two other clubs ready moves

Arnaud Kalimuendo, PSG, during Trophee des Champions - Lille v Paris St Germain - Bloomfield Stadium, Tel Aviv, Israel

Leeds United have been given renewed hope they can seal the signing of Arnaud Kalimuendo after PSG came to a decision over his future.

The Whites have been extremely active in the summer transfer window, on Tuesday completing their eighth signing in Joel Robles. Signing on a free, the goalkeeper will provide back-up for regular No 1 Illan Meslier. And he moves to a Leeds side feeling confident after winning their opening game of the season, 2-1, at home to Wolves.

However, there remains a feeling that Leeds might not yet be done in the summer window. The club remains a little light in attack, with only Patrick Bamford their only senior recognised out-and-out centre forward.

Bamford was a huge miss for Leeds last season with various injuries meaning he only featured in 560 minutes of Premier League football. And he’s already reached almost a sixth of that total this, playing 84 minutes of the opener at Elland Road.

Were he to suffer another setback, though, Leeds would remain short of options up front. The club did try to redress that balance, striking a £33.7m deal with Club Brugges for Charles De Ketelaere.

However, the Belgian only had eyes for AC Milan and, after lengthy transfer negotiations, he sealed a move there last week. To that end, De Ketelaere and his agent have opened up on Leeds’ lucrative offer.

Leeds, though, do have other targets, and they have been strongly linked with a move for PSG frontman Kalimuendo.

The 20-year-old striker impressed during a two-year stint on loan with Lens, scoring 21 goals in 65 appearances.

Leeds’ interest in him has been well documented, with the club seeing an opening £17m offer fall short.

Talks, though, over a possible deal have continued to rumble on, with Leeds remaining hopeful over a potential deal.

PSG finally make mind up over Arnaud Kalimuendo future

The delay, as far as Leeds are concerned, has always been at the PSG end. Indeed, with the player impressing during their pre-season fixtures, the club has remained undecided over Kalimuendo’s future.

To that end, PSG coach Christophe Galtier seemingly wants to keep the forward in Paris. The club’s sporting director, Luis Campos, however, is more of the mind to sell, knowing the club has a raft of attacking options on their books.

Indeed, with Kylian Mbappe, Neymar, Lionel Messi, Mauro Icardi and now Hugo Ekitike on their books, it’s difficult to see where Kalimuendo fits in.

Arnaud Kalimuendo, Lionel Messi PSG July 2022

Finally, though, as per GFFN, the club has now decided to put the striker up for sale. As such, they are now looking to offload the young forward as soon as possible and to the highest bidder.

As such, they are now open to offers with a number of clubs seemingly planning approaches to PSG.

However, it seems Leeds United are not the only side keen on Kalimuendo’s services.

The report claims Nice and Rennes have already held talks with his agent over a potential deal.

Leeds have two positions of weakness left in squad

While Leeds do have Joe Gelhardt and Sam Greenwood as attacking options, it is perhaps up front where the club remains most vulnerable.

They were brutally exposed last season when Bamford was out. Both Rodrigo Moreno and Dan James were trialled as central striker, though neither caught the eye. Indeed, in James, they lacked a player who was unable to hold up the ball or make the runs that Bamford can.

As such, the signing of Kalimuendo would make a great deal of sense. PSG are reportedly seeking £21m for the striker, a fee that would not break the bank for Leeds.

Furthermore, thanks to the sales of Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha, Leeds still find themselves on equal footing in the summer market.

Were they to sign Arnaud Kalimuendo, it would give them the required cover and competition in attack. Furthermore, with the five substitutes rule now in play, the likes of Gelhardt and Greenwood will still likely get plenty of minutes.

How will Leeds fare in the Premier League this season without Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips?

How will Leeds cope without Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips in the upcoming campaign?

Leeds are also lacking in cover at left-back. Summer 2021 signing Junior Firpo struggled for large parts of last season. And while Leeds do still believe in the player, he suffered an injury during their opening pre-season friendly against Blackpool.

Central defender Pascal Struijk covered for Firpo in the win over Wolves, and while he did OK, his flaws there were there for all to see. As a result, Leeds should really look for a specialist option to play there as cover and competition for Firpo.

Angus Kinnear, meanwhile, has spoken out over the sales of Raphinha and Phillips, insisting Leeds have received good deals over their transfer fees.