Leeds United

Leeds United


Leeds United and Lazio ready to agree pricey loan deal over Italy winger, claims Italian report

Leeds winger Wilfried Gnonto is a target for Lazio in January

Leeds winger Wilfried Gnonto is a target for Lazio in January

Speculation that Wilfried Gnonto wants to leave Leeds United in the January window is refusing to go away despite a denial by the player and amid fresh speculation suggesting Lazio are exploring a possible deal to sign the winger on loan.

The Whites paid a bargain £5.2m fee to sign Gnonto from FC Zurich on deadline day in summer 2022 and the 20-year-old turned out to be one of the few bright sparks of a troubled season for Leeds. That campaign ultimately ended in relegation and, with Gnonto impressing inspite of their demise, the player was quickly targeted for an immediate return to the Premier League.

However, new Leeds owners, 49ers Enterprises, made it clear they were not prepared to move the player on. And while 15 players did depart Elland Road over the summer, the Whites were in a strong position over Gnonto owing to the fact that, unlike many of his teammates, he did not have a relegation-linked clause in his deal.

Nonetheless, Everton pushed hard to bring him in, seeing three bids – the latter worth some £25m – swatted aside by Leeds. However, the decision did not go down well with the winger, who pushed to be allowed to make the move, even refusing to play for a period after making his dissatisfaction at the situation clear.

With boss Daniel Farke taking strong action with the player, a truce was ultimately reached, with Gnonto accepting that he would remain a Leeds player – for now at least.

And while he suffered an ankle injury that curtailed his involvement, Gnonto has made nine appearances so far this season, scoring one goal.

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Gnonto tipped to make Leeds move to Lazio

However, speculation over the player’s future refuses to go away and reports last week claimed Gnonto was still unhappy at Elland Road and was keen to leave if the opportunity presented itself.

Those suggestions were quickly dampened somewhat by the player himself who reacted to the speculation with a ‘laughing’ emoji on social media.

And TEAMtalk understands that, while Gnonto is not looking to force a move, he would almost certainly be open to the idea were an agreement to be put before him.

To that end, Gnonto has been linked with a fresh move to both Everton, while Roma are also reportedly hot on his trail.

However, fresh reports in Italy state it is their city-rivals Lazio who are more likely to sign the 13-times capped Italy winger.

And according to Calciostyle, Lazio president Claudio Lotito is keeping a close watch on the player’s situation and believes he has the exact profile to become a successful player in Serie A.

To aid their chances, the stance in the Italian media reflects what we understand and claims Gnonto remains eager to leave Leeds and would see a move to Lazio as a major opportunity to add European football to his CV. The Biancocelesti are well placed to reach the Champions League knockout stages and should, at the very least, be able to offer Europa League football over the second half of the season.

Italy winger receives praise from national boss

They are currently sat 1oth in Serie A, some five points adrift of the European places.

Now the report claims Lazio are looking into what has been described as ‘costly’ loan to buy deal to bring Gnonto to Lazio in January, with the price on a permanent deal set at €15m (£13.1m).

That amount, however, appears surprisingly low, given Leeds were reportedly in receipt of far more lucrative offers for the player just a matter of months ago.

All the same, Leeds will likely find themselves facing another tricky situation over Gnonto’s future in the weeks to come.

The player is currently away on international duty with Italy Under-21s and the Leeds man has come in for praise from coach Carmine Nunziata.

“Gnonto is a great guy, who presented himself very well but I had no doubts about this. He likes to play football and I know he will do it with us too,” he said.

Gnonto has made a total of 37 appearances for Leeds, scoring five goals and assisting with six more.

His deal at Leeds ties him to Elland Road until 2027.

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