Victor Orta ‘registers interest’ as Leeds turn to Lazio striker amid urgent SOS

Date published: Tuesday 11th January 2022 11:29 - James Marshment

Vedat Muriqi, Lazio striker in Serie A action against Sampdoria

Leeds United are reported to have registered their interest with Lazio over a loan deal to sign striker Vedat Muriqi.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side have found the going extremely tough so far this season, with just four Premier League wins to their name. However, amid a plethora of injuries, Bielsa is yet to have a full squad to choose from. And while the Argentine would never use injuries as an excuse, Leeds look likely to be without up to 12 players for Sunday’s trip to West Ham.

Indeed, their situation with injuries looks extremely bleak. They currently have four centre-halves on sidelines, meaning teenager Leo Hjelde will again deputise.

Astonishingly, that’s not their biggest problem either. Indeed, with another teenager in Sam Greenwood succumbing to injury, Leeds now have all five of their striker options lad low.

The England Under-21 striker joins Patrick Bamford (hip), Tyler Roberts (calf), Joe Geldhart (ankle) and Rodrigo (heel) in missing the game. It never rains, it pours. And that’s before you consider Kalvin Phillips (hamstring) and Junior Firpo (concussion) will also be absent.

However, as per La Lazio Siamo Noi, Leeds may soon land cover in the shape of Muriqi. 

Vedat Muriqi free to leave Lazio

The 6ft 4in Kosovan striker is reported to have been made available for transfer by Lazio this month. Having arrived in Rome in September 2020, Muriqi has struggled to find his best form.

Indeed, in 43 appearances for Lazio, he has struck just two goals. That form doesn’t make for great reading and it’s unlikely Leeds fans will be especially thrilled by such a record.

The article claims Leeds are exploring the possibility of a loan move for Muriqi and already have a ‘formula’ to prise him from the Biancocelesti.

Furthermore, they state director of football Victor Orta has already ‘registered an interest’ in bringing the Kosovan to Elland Road.

The striker has already been linked with Hull City this window, but their interest appears to have waned in light of the reported Leeds approach.

Phil Hay provides bleak transfer outlook for Leeds

The January window has not proved a successful one for Leeds over recent times. Indeed, a series of near misses (Dan James), injured stars (Jean-Kevin Augustin) and disappointing arrivals (Kiko Casilla) have not gone to plan in recent years.

Now, trusted Leeds United source Phil Hay reports the club are yet to make any headway in the current window.

Writing in a post-match Q&A on The Athletic, following Sunday’s FA Cup exit at West Ham, Hay painted a bleak outlook.

“Very quiet on that front,” he said, when asked about potential new recruits.

“Which isn’t to say they’re not working on anything but we’re yet to see a deal move to an advanced stage. Extra resources have felt necessary for a while. The squad has been too susceptible to injuries this season.”

Furthermore, reports elsewhere claims Leeds will only be able to secure loan arrivals this month rather than permanent signings.

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