Leeds United have been given renewed hope that they can secure the signing of Brenden Aaronson this summer after seemingly having it confirmed that RB Salzburg will offload the midfielder.
The Whites zoned in on their midfield as a vital area to strengthen in the January transfer window. While Daniel James and Junior Firpo bolstered attack and defence in the summer, midfield remains an area of concern.
Indeed, you have to go back to January 2018 and Adam Forshaw to the last time Leeds brought in a central midfielder.
As such, Leeds head coach Bielsa has identified RB Salzburg star Aaronson as a key target.
United saw their opening £15million bid for the USA international swiftly rejected. A second, increased offer of £20m was soon launched, only with Salzburg once again standing firm.
And despite Victor Orta travelling to Austria to try and grease the wheels, Salzburg stood firm and refused to sell their man.
That said, there is hope for Leeds in that Aaronson himself is reportedly keen to make the move. Furthermore, we understand that Leeds remain confident of tying up a summer deal for the USA star. In fact, Orta’s presence in Austria may well have been to do exactly that.
Midfielder has multiple suitors
Leeds though look unlikely to be the only side in for him this summer, that said. Indeed, a report suggests both AC Milan and RB Leipzig are also keeping tabs on his progress.
However, a summer departure for Aaronson does look inevitable.
That’s after Daily Express journalist Ryan Taylor told Give Me Sport that a summer move is on the cards.
“He’s clearly the long-term target,” Taylor said
“Obviously, he suits Marcelo Bielsa’s style of play, and Victor Orta as well is prepared to wait until the summer.
“I think it’s now been communicated between the clubs that Salzburg will be open to doing business this summer at the end of the season.”
Brenden Aaronson price tag emerges
Meanwhile, the price that Salzburg will Aaronson for has also reportedly emerged.
Leeds ready to try again for Brenden Aaronson
Bielsa's side saw opening bid worth £15m rejected by Salzburg
Leeds’ final offer of £20m was not enough to land him in January – but they seemingly won’t have to go much higher in the summer.
And according to local journalist Alexander Bischof of Salzburger Nachrichten, any deal will likely match their record fee.
That currently stands at the £23m Leicester paid them last summer for striker Patson Daka.
Speaking to LeedsLive, Bischof said: “Salzburg won’t give him away for much less [than £20 million].
“Salzburg still want to keep Aaronson and also have many professionals who can play in Aaronson’s position. For example [Noah] Okafor, [Luka] Sucic,” he said of the potential to replace Aaronson before the Austrian transfer window closes next Monday.
Although, there is hope for a summer bid, he adds: “In principle, Salzburg does not want to give away any players in the winter.
“But after the end of a season, you don’t put anything in the way of players who want to take the next step in their career. And you also need the millions to be able to continue running the business.”