Leeds United have been linked with Sasa Lukic as a potential successor to Adam Forshaw and Mateusz Klich, but a scheming Jose Mourinho may deny them their wish, according to reports in Italy.
Lukic is on Leeds’ radar as they prepare to say farewell to Forshaw in 2023. Furthermore, Klich is not particularly happy with his situation at Elland Road. Therefore, if they both leave, Leeds will need more competition for summer signings Tyler Adams and Marc Roca.
With that in mind, they have been looking at Torino midfielder Lukic as a potential successor. Their interest dates back to the summer and the Serbia international was recently asked about it specifically.
In his response, he made no secret of the fact that he is ambitious and therefore could envisage taking the next step in his career.
However, that next step might not necessarily be with Leeds. Another of his long-term admirers are Roma, whose plans have now been unveiled by reports in the Italian media.
According to Calciomercato, Mourinho’s side are willing to tempt Torino with a swap offer including defender Marash Kumbulla.
Roma need to strengthen their midfield after not being able to use summer signing Georginio Wijnaldum for a number of months due to a broken leg.
Coincidentally, Tottenham were linked with Lukic back when Mourinho was in charge of them. It appears he has not forgotten what the 26-year-old could bring.
In order to beat Leeds to him, Roma would seemingly be willing to let go of Kumbulla. The Albania international is currently fourth in command in their centre-back hierarchy.
He previously worked with Torino’s head coach Ivan Juric when playing for Hellas Verona. Therefore, he might find more enjoyment in Turin.
His move there would help Roma lower the cost of signing Lukic, who should cost between €10million (£8.6million) and €15million (£13million), according to the report.
Roma might appeal more than Leeds to Sasa Lukic
The valuation shouldn’t be too far out of reach for Leeds if they want to interrupt, but the fact that Roma could give Torino a player they may find useful may make their bid more appealing.
Furthermore, Roma have Europa League involvement on offer, whereas Leeds do not have any European competition to play in.
Calciomercato also adds that the Giallorossi would be able to double the salary that Lukic currently earns from Torino. Therefore, things could be falling into place for him to move to the Italian capital, rather than West Yorkshire.
If Leeds do miss out, they will have to expand their shortlist of potential targets. Squad depth will be vital if they are to avoid another relegation battle, so they must try to ensure they do not decrease it in the event of Forshaw or Klich leaving.
Besides, even Adams has been generating interest regarding a departure just months after his arrival in the Premier League.