Che Adams dead end sees Leeds move onto swoop for France U21 star

Nestor Watach

Leeds United have reportedly turned their attention to RB Leipzig’s Jean-Kevin Augustin in their search for a new striker.

The Athletic‘s Phil Hay says that Marcelo Bielsa’s side are hoping to sign the 22-year-old Frenchman after hitting a dead-end in their pursuit of Che Adams.

Southampton reportedly turned down a third bid worth up to £20m for Adams from Leeds, with an unnamed European striker among the back-up names alongside Middlesbrough’s Britt Assombalonga and Newcastle’s Dwight Gayle

Leeds have been on the search for a new striker since the departure of Eddie Nketiah, who scored three important goals in the first half of the season but was recalled by his parent club Arsenal.

A product of Paris Saint-Germain’s academy, Augustin originally broke through as a teenager in the 2015-16 season, in which Laurent Blanc led them to the Ligue 1 title. He’s also represented France at six different youth levels, from the Under-16s to the Under-21s, but is yet to receive a senior cap.

He has starred for his country’s Under-21s, however, scoring five goals in nine games.

Augustin was sold to RB Leipzig for €13m in the summer of 2017 and scored nine goals in 25 appearances during his debut season in the Bundesliga, but was increasingly pushed to the periphery as Timo Werner became the first-choice option up top.

Now back in France on a season-long loan at Monaco, he has failed to make much of an impact at the fallen Ligue 1 giants, handed just two starts in the league.

The new report suggests that Augustin is open to a different move in a bid to play more first-team football. Hay suggests that Bielsa is “very keen” on the striker, but any potential move would be complicated to complete.