Talk that Leeds United are in the market to sign former midfielder Ronaldo Vieira in January have been dismissed by a trusted source.
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.
He made 44 appearances in the first two seasons with his new club. And then last year he was loaned out to league rivals Hellas Verona.
Injuries have caused him serious issues, though. A knee problem has prevented him from playing at all so far this season.
So with less than two years left on his contract, Sampdoria are seeminginly looking to regain some of their investment in January.
Vieira up for sale
As per a report on Tuesday, they want just £4.25m for the midfielder with Leeds reportedly ‘trying to convince’ him to return to the club.
The Whites’ injury woes have been well documented this season, so extra bodies would be welcomed in the January transfer window.
Whether the move could actually happen did look questionable, though. Vieira was close to joining Sheffield United in the summer, but failed his medical.
Leeds United transfer plans blown up by injuries
Leeds United have problems in midfield and are being forced to spend money in January to deal with multiple long term injury problems
Now the link with the player has seemingly been dismissed by The Athletic’s Phil Hay.
Writing in his transfer mailbag, he suggests it is unlikely that Leeds would be in the market to sign Vieira.
“Vieira has been totally inactive at first-team level since that loan to Sheffield United fell through,” he wrote.
“I can’t see it.”
If not Vieira, then perhaps another midfielder
Leeds, however, are crying out for a new central midfielder in January.
The loss of Kalvin Phillips – sidelined for two months after hamstring surgery – has been a catastrophic blow.
Adam Forshaw has been a solid presence in the side since his return to action following two years out.
But Mateusz Klich remains their only other fit and senior central midfielder, leaving Leeds short in the middle.
With that in mind, it would be no surprise to see Leeds in the market to sign a new midfielder in January.
They have also been linked with an ambitious move for Juventus’ Weston McKennie.
He, however, is rated in the £20m bracket and has a number of Premier League clubs chasing him.
Whether Leeds do make a move remains to be seen, though again it’s a transfer that appears unlikely.