Liverpool, Leeds left floundering as Atletico agree €35m fee to sign playmaker

Date published: Tuesday 15th June 2021 9:29 - Rob McCarthy

Rodrigo De Paul Argentina Copa America TEAMtalk

Atletico Madrid are reportedly close to agreeing a deal to sign a Liverpool and Leeds attacking midfield target this summer.

Rodrigo de Paul, who currently plays for Italian side Udinese, is the player in question and will cost Los Rojiblancos a fee in the region of €35million. The Argentine, who is currently on international duty at the Copa America, is expected to sign a five-year contract.

Atletico have beaten the likes of the Premier League duo, as well as Juventus, Inter, Milan, Napoli, Lazio and Roma to the 27-year-old.

De Paul was a major target for Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa last summer, while the Reds were credited with an interest soon after.

The 27-year-old began his career at Racing Club before making a name for himself at Valencia.

He spent two years at Mestalla before moving to Udinese in 2016. He has scored 34 goals in 184 appearances for the Italian outfit.

 

De Paul has also won 24 caps for Argentina and could be a replacement for Saul Niguez at Atletico.

The Spain international has been linked with both Manchester clubs, as well as Liverpool. A fee of around €70m is likely to see the Spanish outfit sell.


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Liverpool man hints at summer exit

Meanwhile, Xherdan Shaqiri has confirmed he will make a decision on his future after his participation at Euro 2020 has come to an end.

Shaqiri is a part of the Switzerland squad which was held to a 1-1 draw with Wales on Saturday. The 29-year-old set up Breel Embolo’s strike, meaning he has now directly contributed to 50% of all Switzerland’s goals at major tournaments since 2014. Indeed, his importance to his national team can not be doubted.

But the 29-year-old has had to settle for a place as a fringe player at club level. In his three years at Liverpool, he has made just 63 appearances.

Shaqiri has confirmed that he will be assessing his options ahead of next term. Speaking in a press conference ahead of Switzerland’s Group A fixture with Italy, he said: “At the moment I don’t really want to talk about it.

“I have a contract there and after the Euros, of course, I will talk to my agent. Then we will look at the situation. Then we will decide how to continue.”

READ MORE: Liverpool to treble their outlay after finally sanctioning absentee’s exit

 

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