Leeds United look far from certain from securing the Brenden Aaronson transfer this summer following their failure to land the American in January.
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.
However, fresh reports are now suggesting that Leeds will not have it all their own way this summer.
Indeed, as per Forbes journalist Manuel Veth, Leeds will be rivalled by both AC Milan and RB Leipzig for Aaronson.
Veth said: “Sources have told me from the very beginning that there was no chance of a winter move to [Leeds].
“Also to add, Leeds are not the only interested club in a potential summer move for Salzburg’s Aaronson. Both Milan and Leipzig are monitoring the situation.”
Aaronson transfer push held up by Augustin
Veth went on to hint that the lingering financial wrangle over Jean-Kevin Augustin also prevented Leeds from pushing harder to sign Aaronson this month.
A CAS hearing in March will determine whether Leeds are liable to pay Leipzig the full £18m fee.
RB Salzburg reject Leeds bid for Brenden Aaronson
Leeds United have had a bid for Brenden Aaronson rejected by RB Salzburg but will bid again for American international
Aside from the financial implications of the verdict, Leeds may be punished twice if Leipzig follow up their interest in Aaronson.
As their sister club and under the same Red Bull ownership, that is a familiar transfer path in recent times.
Indeed, the likes of Amadou Haidara, Peter Gulacsi, Naby Keita, Dayot Upamecano and Dominik Szoboszlai have all made the same move in recent seasons.
Interest mounts in Kalvin Phillips
Leeds, meanwhile, seemingly face a harder than ever battle this summer to retain the services of Kalvin Phillips.
As per Tuesday’s Paper Talk, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain are also vying to sign the England man.
also has admirers in the Premier League, where Manchester United or Liverpool could look to sign him.
Phillips has been a standout performer throughout Leeds’ rise back to the top flight. Since becoming a Premier League player, he has only enhanced his reputation.
The 26-year-old became an England regular at Euro 2020 and continues to attract major suitors.