Leeds Utd are facing up to losing two of their leading lights in attack, with a winger courting ‘genuine interest’ from Chelsea and a striker set to ‘verbally agree’ a conditional exit, per reports.
It’s been another rollercoaster season at Elland Road with Leeds Utd once again staring down the barrel of relegation. Javi Gracia was drafted in to replace Jesse Marsch and the Spaniard’s objective is clear: beat the drop.
The Whites currently lay in 16th position, though are just two points clear of 18th-placed Nottingham Forest. All sides up to Crystal Palace in 12th are looking over their shoulder.
But despite a topsy-turvy campaign, there have been bright sparks for Leeds, most notably in the attacking ranks.
Indeed, Rodrigo Moreno is enjoying his best season for the club and is operating at just under a goal every other game (11 in 23).
Elsewhere, Willy Gnonto has earned rave reviews for his marauding work down the left flank. He’s been near-unplayable at times and has wasted little time establishing himself in Roberto Mancini’s Italy squad too despite being just 19.
However, according to reports from talkSPORT and Football Insider, both Rodrigo and Gnonto could leave west Yorkshire this summer.
Gnonto to Chelsea? Leeds Utd will make them pay
Firstly, talkSPORT detail the latest on Gnonto who Chelsea are reportedly showing ‘genuine interest’ in.
The Blues’ squad is already filled to the brim with all manner of attackers. However, a fire sale is coming and most of those tipped to depart are either midfielders or forwards.
Among those who could depart from the latter category include Hakim Ziyech, Christian Pulisic, Callum Hudson-Odoi, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Romelu Lukaku.
talkSPORT state Leeds ‘face a fight’ to retain Gnonto even if they avoid relegation. Aside from Chelsea, Italian heavyweights Juventus and AC Milan are keen to take Gnonto to Serie A.
In the event Leeds do decide to cash in, they’ll at least make a humongous profit on a player signed for roughly £4m from FC Zurich last summer.
La Gazzetta dello Sport recently indicated Leeds will want to receive a minimum of €30million (£26.4m) for Gnonto. Ideally, they could even earn up to €40m (£35.2m).
Rodrigo nearing ‘verbal agreement’
Elsewhere, Football Insider reveal striker Rodrigo is ‘set to verbally agree’ a Leeds Utd exit that will hinge on whether they’re relegated.
The 32-year-old is understood to have informed the club he does not wish to play in the Championship if Gracia can’t guide them to safety.
Furthermore, Rodrigo is the top earner at the club and is also out of contract at the end of next season. As such, a sale this summer would make financial sense for Leeds if they’re relegated.
As such, Leeds are ‘expected’ to strike a verbal agreement with the Spaniard over greenlighting his exit come the summer.
Of course, Leeds can avert losing their top scorer by simply beating the drop. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done and Rodrigo’s future will now hinge on how Leeds fare over the next eight games.