Leeds United have seen their chances of signing versatile Torino star Ola Aina soar after a report revealed a positive double development.
The Whites have been decimated by injury issues and Covid absences this season. Their strength in depth has been stretched to breaking point in recent weeks with Marcelo Bielsa often forced into playing multiple stars out of position at the same time.
As such, signing a player capable of plugging multiple gaps this month would prove a smart piece of business.
Torino’s Ola Aina fits that bill, with Italian outlet Toro News revealing Leeds were pursuing a deal earlier this week.
The ex-Chelsea and Fulham star, 25, is capable of playing in a variety of positions. When on loan with Fulham last season, Aina was deployed mainly as a full-back or centre-half.
However, in the current campaign with parent club Torino, Aina has played at both left and right midfield, as well as left-back.
Now, Sport Witness (citing Corriere Granata), have provided a double boost to Leeds’ hopes.
Torino close in on Ola Aina replacement
Firstly, they state Torino are closing in on acquiring Lazio’s Mohamed Fares. The 25-year-old Algerian wing-back is currently on loan at Genoa. However, he is expected to sign with Torino in the coming days.
If completed, Torino would then be ‘willing to deprive’ themselves of Aina having signed a capable replacement.
Furthermore, Torino’s demands are not sky high for Aina. On the contrary, the report states a fee of around €10m would prove satisfactory.
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Whether Leeds will be willing to stump up the cash, only time will tell. However, the West Yorkshire outfit are stated to be ‘pressing’ ahead with their chase.
While it’s acknowledged that an agreement is yet to be reached, the two clubs will ‘continue to negotiate’ in the coming days.
Toro News’ report earlier this week suggested Aina would be open to returning to England where he grew up. However, he is currently on AFCON duty with Nigeria – a factor that could complicate proceedings this month.
Leeds hesitance sees striker slip away
Meanwhile, Leeds United have entered advanced talks over a transfer for Lazio striker Vedat Muriqi, but further reports have claimed that West Brom have won the race.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side – led by director of football Victor Orta – have opened talks over a deal for the 27-year-old. Leeds want an initial loan deal with an option to buy worth £6.7million.
According to another update from La Lazio Siamo Noi, Leeds are now in advanced talks with the Serie A club and the representatives of Muriqi.
However, reports in Turkey claim that West Brom could yet beat Bielsa to the transfer. In fact, A Spor has said that Muriqi is on his way to England to complete a deal with the Championship club.
Leeds’ reported reluctance to follow Lazio’s request in taking up an obligation to buy the player is their issue.