EXCLUSIVE: Victor Orta connections at play as Leeds plot vital midfield deal

Victor Orta, Leeds United director of football

Leeds United have joined the chase for Middlesbrough’s Marcus Tavernier and are considering a January move for the exciting midfielder, TEAMtalk has learned.

The Leeds-born 22-year-old has come through Boro’s highly acclaimed academy. He joined from local rivals Newcastle United when he was aged just 13.

Tavernier was an England youth international and can play anywhere across midfield, and has also featured at wing-back.

His versatility has never been more evident than in the current campaign. From just 15 league outings, Tavernier has played on the left of midfield, central, right, deep, and also on the right of the forward line.

Tavernier signed a new deal in January 2020 with Middlesbrough, and that deal runs out in just over 18 months.

It now remains to be seen if Boro can hang onto him beyond January with interest in the player hotting up.

Southampton, Brighton and Burnley have all been watching him closely in the last year. And according to our sources, Leeds United are now very much in contention.

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Leeds director of football, Victor Orta, is a confirmed fan of the player. He helped oversee his progress from the youth ranks during his time at the Riverside.

The Whites have been linked with making a January splash for a midfielder for some time. Easing the pressure on Kalvin Phillips is a clear need that wasn’t addressed in the summer.

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Meanwhile, West Ham have reportedly made contact with Arsenal over a deal for Leeds United target Eddie Nketiah,

West Ham have reportedly made contact with Arsenal in order to execute a deal for Nketiah, per London World. That looks to hurt Leeds United’s chances of landing the forward, who was on loan at the West Yorkshire side in 2019.

Leeds’ interest in a transfer was reported last week, as the side’s director of football has been keeping tabs on the 22-year-old.

Despite the interest from Leeds, West Ham have apparently made a direct approach to Arsenal. Michail Antonio is the Hammers’ only recognised striker. Given his recurring injury problems, signing a potent back-up would prove useful.

Nketiah would reportedly command a fee in the region of £10million. If that fee seems low, it’s because Nketiah is out of contract next summer.

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