Leeds United are pushing forward with plans to bring Ronaldo Vieira back to the club, according to reports in Italy.
Vieira, now 23 years old, was on the books at Elland Road from 2015-2018. Despite his young age, he broke through to the first-team and became a regular starter in the 2016/17 season. The quality he displayed did not go unnoticed.
Indeed, Serie A side Sampdoria swopped for the former England Under-21 international.
The Italians signed him for around £7m – a move which then new boss Marcelo Bielsa sanctioned amid his then unknown plans for Kalvin Phillips. At the time, Phillips was regarded more as an attacking midfielder, with Bielsa turning him into the deep-lying DM he’s known as today.
Since then, Leeds have since re-emerged as a Premier League side. Vieira, meanwhile, has seen his career stutter.
However, all has not gone to plan for Leeds this season. The Whites are currently crippled by a staggering injury that will likely see 10 stars sidelined for Sunday’s trip to West Ham.
With new recruits on the agenda, chief executive Angus Kinnear has given some indication over their plans for the upcoming window. And while he wants Leeds to strengthen, he knows their position at the wrong end of the table could be a cause for concern.
Nonetheless, Leeds are pressing ahead with plans to strengthen and their midfield is understood to be their No 1 priority.
Orta keen on Ronaldo Vieira deal
With that in mind, it’s no surprise to see Leeds being linked once again with a move for Vieira.
The midfielder was first mentioned as a January target for Leeds last month, though The Athletic’s Phil Hay quickly played it down.
However, ClubDoria continues to push claims that Leeds are actively pursuing the deal.
They state the midfielder is highly tempted by a return to West Yorkshire with his chances at Sampdoria fading. He is yet to make any appearances for the Serie A side this season, despite an injury crisis of their own.
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Furthermore, they are unlikely to stand in Vieira’s way should Leeds make an approach. As such, the Italian website claim Leeds chief Victor Orta is ‘ready to pick him up’ and give him a ‘first taste of the Premier League’.
There is no indication, however, on when talks are scheduled to take place. And while his lack of action this season could prove difficult with Marcelo Bielsa’s demands on players, he could prove a low risk option if he can prove his fitness.
Radrizzani explains player’s sale
The departure of Ronaldo Vieira back in 2018 came as something of a shock to Leeds’ fanbase at the time.
Indeed, chairman Andrea Radrizzani has since admitted it was done to raise funds and with a heavy heart.
And the Leeds owner is clearly a fan of the 23-year-old as he reflected on his exit.
“The sacrifice was very hard for me to do because he’s a great player.
“He was one of best players to come from our youth. But I could not put the club in danger in the future.
“We thought it would be a sacrifice we could take, and still maintain the team. We used the money to invest where we need more.”