Juventus dangle star man carrot for Leeds so they can snatch exciting talent from their grasp

Weston McKennie, Robin Koch, Leeds United, February 2023

Juventus are reportedly planning to allow Leeds to pay less than their asking price for Weston McKennie, as they want to include Willy Gnonto in the deal.

Leeds are not a side that are used to possessing massive talents. Indeed, that’s to be expected, given they spent 16 years in the wilderness before finally making it back to the Premier League for the 202/21 season.

There have been a few players in their ranks that have star quality, though. Raphinha springs to mind as one of the best talents to represent the Whites in recent years.

His tenure lasted just two seasons before big hitters Barcelona snapped him up.

In January, Leeds added another of the biggest names to have represented them in recent history. Indeed, Juventus midfielder McKennie headed to the club on loan.

A player with three seasons of Champions League experience on his CV was a good coup for a side battling relegation.

While he’s not had a massive impact – he’s yet to score or assist in eight games – they might still be interested in making his loan deal permanent.

They have the option to do so for in the region of £29million.

Juventus want Gnonto in McKennie deal

However, Juventus seem to be willing to make that cheaper for the club. Indeed, Calciomercato reports the Old Lady will ask for exciting forward Gnonto ‘to facilitate the negotiation’.

It’s not mentioned how much, if anything, Juventus would ask for if Gnonto was included.

However, his addition to the deal would likely severely reduce the asking price. It might be in the forward’s interests for that to happen, too.

Indeed, he is from Italy, and started his career at Inter Milan before heading to Leeds via Zurich.

Calciomercato reports Gnonto ‘would be very happy to return to Italy’. After not making it at Inter, returning to one of their main competitors and performing would be a great turnaround for him.

Gnonto is a valuable asset to Leeds

It’s unclear if Leeds are interested in making McKennie’s deal permanent. He was signed by former manager Jesse Marsch, and he hasn’t had a massive impact.

As such, giving Gnonto up to get him might not be of interest to them. The Italian forward is a very valuable asset to the Whites.

He’s shown how much of an exciting player he is in a Leeds shirt this season despite being just 19. Indeed, Gnonto has scored four goals and assisted another two so far this season.

Furthermore, two of those goals have been in vital draws in the league. The other two were in the same FA Cup game against Cardiff, potentially his best performance at the club so far.

He’s shown the player he could be once he gets more settled in England. While McKennie is a big name now, Gnonto might be very soon. As such, letting him go is a decision that would haunt Leeds.

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