Leeds United

Leeds United


Leeds green light to sign Stuttgart winger as Liverpool man claims ‘God’ convinced him to reject Whites

Leeds boss Daniel Farke is considering a move for Stuttgart winger Silas

Leeds boss Daniel Farke is considering a move for Stuttgart winger Silas

Leeds United have been cleared to make a summer move for VfB Stuttgart winger Silas after his price tag was made clear – while a current Liverpool star has come clean on the real reasons why he rejected a club-record move to Elland Road.

The Whites are facing up to another season of Championship football after their quest to secure promotion narrowly failed to clear two hurdles. Firstly, their 90-point haul made them the first side since Sunderland in 1998 to hit the landmark and still not go up from the second tier, before they went on to reach the play-off final, only to lose out to Southampton who beat them 1-0.

The cost of remaining in the second tier is likely to be a fairly substantial one for Leeds with the club’s chairman Paraag Marathe admitting that, while they do have a financial plan in place – those claims soon backed up by a cash injection from new investors Red Bull – some player sales will likely have to be made to help balance the books and ensure Leeds stay on an even financial keel.

To that end, Archie Gray, Crysencio Summerville and Willy Gnonto have already been linked with a move away, while on Wednesday it also emerged that midfielder Ilia Gruev was a major summer target for Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund.

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However, the biggest exit fears certainly lie around star winger Summerville, who was crowned the EFL’s player of the year this season off the back of a season in which he had contributed towards 31 goals (21 scored, 10 assists) across all competitions.

Leeds given green light to sign Stuttgart winger

To that end, the winger has been linked with a plethora of sides with Bayer Leverkusen, Chelsea and Liverpool among those keen, while TEAMtalk also exclusively revealed on Thursday that Fulham have joined the hunt for the Dutch winger and are ready to make a bold move to bring him to Craven Cottage this summer.

And with Gnonto also likely to attract attention once again following Leeds’ failure to return to the Premier League, and with Jaidon Anthony having returned to parent club Bournemouth, Leeds will likely need to reinforce in the wide attacking positions.

One man who has been mentioned as a target in recent days is Stuttgart winger Silas, who enjoyed a strong 2023/24 campaign for the Bundesliga side.

And despite scoring seven goals and adding six assists across 30 appearaces this season, Stuttgart are willing to cash in on the attacker, who can play on either wing and through the middle as a No 10.

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And with a modest €15m (£12.8m) fee on his head, the 25-year-old DR Congo international is sure to attract plenty of interest.

Indeed, as  Suedwest24 reports, Silas already has interest in his services from five clubs, including Leeds, from across Europe. And with sides in both the French and German top flights among those keen, Leeds will face a battle to sign the star, given their prolonged stint in the second tier.

Nonetheless, Stuttgart are willing to negotiate his sale and that will give Leeds some hope of securing his signature, especially if their coffers are boosted by the exit of Summerville.

Gakpo reveals real reason to snub Leeds transfer

Meanwhile, one man who may well have proved a difference-maker for Leeds in the year they went down was Cody Gakpo, with the Whites having pushed strongly for his signature on deadline day in summer 2022.

Having sold Raphinha the same summer, Leeds sent a delegation out to Eindhoven to try and convince the then PSV forward to move to Elland Road.

And while talks did reach the advanced stage and the Whites did have an offer accepted, the move ultimately broke down at the last minute, much to Leeds’ disappointment.

Then boss Jesse Marsch famously claimed the deal was “so close” for Leeds, who ultimately ended up sacking the American in February of that season before going on to suffer relegation.

Gakpo himself then sealed a move to Liverpool in January 2023, for a fee of £35.4m (rising to £44.2m once add-ons were factored in) – a record amount received by the Eredivisie side.

Now coming clean on that decision to snub Leeds, Gakpo has revealed a ‘prayer to God’ helped him decide on his best career path.

The Dutchman revealed: “You have a difficult decision to make, and then you go to prayer to talk to God and ask for wisdom. I got that.

“People might think I’m strange. I could go to Southampton, Leeds came into the race and PSV wanted me to stay. I presented the three options I had to God. If I scored once, I would go to Southampton. If I scored twice I would go to Leeds and if I scored three I would stay at PSV.”

Ahead of the game in question, Gakpo went on to score a hat-trick with the third strike of the lot awarded after a VAR review.