Leeds United

Leeds United

Championship

Leeds muscle in on Arsenal as rising star catches Bielsa’s eye to prompt twist in deal race

Marcelo Bielsa gives directions during Leeds vs Burnley, January 2022

Leeds United have begun monitoring a potential deal for on-loan Nottingham Forest full-back Djed Spence alongside Arsenal, according to a report.

The 21-year-old, who moved to the Midlands for the season from Middlesbrough, has impressed for Forest. While he has featured in all but two Championship games since he went on loan, he has also made his name in the FA Cup.

Indeed, Spence played the full match as Forest dumped Arsenal out of the FA Cup earlier this month.

The Gunners subsequently registered interest in a raid for the Englishman, alongside a host of other teams.

In fact, Serie A clubs Inter and Roma are supposedly now watching his progress, as well as Southampton.

According to Sky Sports (17/01/22, 11:19am), though, Leeds are now also watching Spence’s situation.

The right-back has ‘attracted the attention’ of Marcelo Bielsa’s side. Like Arsenal, they have enquired about his availability.

Middlesbrough value Spence at £10million, but he cannot move to another club until the summer; he has already represented two teams this season.

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Spence featured in three Championship games for Boro before sealing his loan move across England.

His contract in the North East expires in the summer of 2023, so Boro face a decision over his future at the end of this season.

The defender has played the full match in all but one of his Forest appearances, chipping in with one goal and another assist in that time.

Leeds boss Bielsa has a solid reputation for signing and handing important first-team roles to younger talents.

Arsenal, meanwhile, bolstered their full-back ranks with Takehiro Tomiyasu and Nuno Tavares in the summer but are looking at Spence as another option.

Forest try to snatch Leeds target

Jed Wallace, Millwall midfielder in action during Championship clash at Bramall Lane

In other news, Forest reportedly feel confident of beating Leeds to the signing of Millwall attacker Jed Wallace.

The player is out of contract at the end of the season and his London employers initially felt confident of keeping him until the end of the season.

However, that situation has changed. Leeds have had links with a move for the 27-year-old for a while.

Forest are also keen and reportedly believe they can win the race for Wallace.