Leeds spy chance to snatch midfield signing in January but have crafty Prem rival to catch up to in transfer battle

Matteo Guendouzi with Pape Gueye

Leeds United are reportedly one of two Premier League clubs interested in the January signing of Pape Gueye, who has been shunted down the pecking order at his current club Marseille.

Leeds made two signings in their midfield over the summer to account for the loss of Kalvin Phillips. In came Tyler Adams and Marc Roca, both of whom have shown their usefulness in the early days of their Elland Road careers.

In fact, Adams has already been linked with a step back up to European level. Manchester United are reportedly admirers of the USA international.

For now, though, there seems to be little for Leeds to worry about. Still, their midfield might need further investment if they let go of squad man Adam Forshaw in January.

Perhaps with that in mind, they are now being linked with Marseille’s Pape Gueye by French outlet Jeunes Footeux.

Gueye has become Marseille’s fourth-choice central midfielder this season, only starting three Ligue 1 games. In contrast, this time last year, he had five top-flight starts to his name, of an eventual tally of 17.

Marseille’s new coach for the 2022-23 season, Igor Tudor, does not seem as fond of Gueye. What’s more, the summer signing of ex-Aston Villa man Jordan Veretout has heightened the competition for his place.

As a result, Gueye could now leave the French side in January. His destination, according to the report, might be in the Premier League.

Leeds are one of his main admirers across the channel. The other contender for his signature would be Southampton, whose midfield currently includes options like Romeo Lavia, James Ward-Prowse, Joe Aribo, Stuart Armstrong, Ibrahima Diallo and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.

And after already taking Duje Caleta-Car from Marseille in the summer, Southampton might be able to “take advantage” of their contacts with the Ligue 1 outfit, the report claims.

One hurdle for them to overcome would be the terms of the transfer. As things stand, Southampton would favour a loan deal with an option to buy Gueye.

For their part, Marseille would rather cash in now, what with their need to bring in funds and his contract being due to expire in 2024. Their asking price for the 23-year-old, though, is not yet clear.

Should Leeds or Southampton give Pape Gueye his Premier League chance?

Gueye, who represents the Senegal national team, has played 92 times for Marseille since joining them after his exit from Le Havre in 2020.

This would not be his first chance of coming to English football. At the time of his last transfer, he initially agreed to join Watford, before Marseille took him instead.

Now, the Premier League is calling for Gueye. This time around, there might be a better chance of him ending up there.

Would Leeds or Southampton be the better solution for him? Well, Saints already have a decent amount of depth in midfield, perhaps more so than the Whites.

After all, Mateusz Klich is someone else whose long-term future could be called into question. Hence, despite the positive signs from Adams and Roca, more might be required in Jesse Marsch’s midfield.

As the report notes, though, Southampton might be in the lead at this moment in time. Only time will tell if they can keep it that way by January.

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