Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Bielsa closing in on bargain Serie A ace as path clears to Leeds winter target

Neil Foster
Nahitan Nandez Cagliari 2021 TEAMtalk21

A report in Italy claims Leeds United are now in pole position to sign Cagliari midfielder Nahitan Nandez during the January transfer window.

The 26-year-old has shone for the Serie A side since moving to Italy from Boca Juniors in the summer of 2019. He made 35 league appearances during his first campaign for Gli Isolani and 32 last term. And the Uruguay international has been seen 16 times in the Italian top-flight in 2021-2022.

It has been a tough season for Cagliari to date, with only three wins from 21 Serie A games. They sit 18th of 20 teams and may now lose an influential player if Leeds can get a deal over the line.

And they are now the frontrunners, according to CagliariNews24. His initial valuation of £23m seemed out of the Whites price range.

However, it has now been suggested that a bid of £20m might be enough. There has even been talk of £16m being accepted but that is too much for Torino, the other interested club.

The report adds that the Elland Road outfit are the only club prepared to meet Cagliari’s valuation during the January transfer window. Therefore Marcelo Bielsa can now push ahead with his plans to land the midfield enforcer.

Leeds need to rally over the second half of the campaign. The have been unable to match their exploits from 2020-2021.

Kalvin Phillips Norwich v Leeds October 2021

The Yorkshire club finished ninth in their first season back in England’s top division for 16 years. But they have won just four league games to sit 16th in the table and are six points above the relegation zone.

Nandez would add steel to Leeds midfield. They have struggled defensively this season, conceding 37 top-flight goals.

Kalvin Phillips has suffered with injury, meaning Bielsa has been shorn of his top player for lengthy periods. The England ace is a rock in midfield for the Argentinian tactician.

And the manager may be about to do something about it.

London duo had eyes on ‘unstoppable’ Nandez

Leeds are not the only Premier League club to be linked with the South American. Both West Ham United and Tottenham have been mentioned in connection with the player.

The Hammers appear to have cooled their interest but Spurs were linked in December. And it is easy to see why.

Marcelo Bielsa raising his hand during a Leeds game

Nandez has been called an ‘unstoppable’ force in the Italian media for his rampaging displays. He seems tailor-made for the English game and would add further grit to the Whites midfield.

But he can also operate in central defence and as a full-back, making him a manager’s dream.

READ MORE: Journalist reveals failed club-record Leeds bid for Tottenham target as loan-to-buy deal closes in