Leeds United have been given a lift in their hopes of prising Rodrigo de Paul after Udinese closed on the signing of his replacement.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side have already broken their transfer record this summer to bring in Rodrigo Moreno from Valencia in a £27.5m deal.
However, that record may not stand for long if efforts to bring Argentina playmaker De Paul to the club prove successful.
Leeds first registered their interest for the player earlier this month. Since then, there has been plenty of conjecture and speculation.
It is understood Leeds have made an initial €30m offer for the player. Since then, numerous clubs have all been linked with the player. There’s also been talk he is waiting on potential interest from Juventus.
The story then took its biggest step forward two weeks ago when De Paul delivered this tantalising one-word answer to talk of joining Leeds.
Those hopes suffered a jolt when it emerged Udinese insisted there would be no discount on their €35m asking price.
However, Leeds are hoping their patient approach pays off. There is a strong feeling in the Italian media that Udinese do need to sell the player this summer.
As such, Gianluca Di Marzio is convinced De Paul will be on the move.
Furthermore, he reports that Udinese are closing on his replacement in the form of Roberto Pererya. The Argentine has just been relegated from the Premier League with Watford and is likely to leave before the window shuts.
The Argentine is valued at around €14m but any deal is not expected to be complicated. The Pozzo family own both clubs so negotiations should be relatively straight forward.
The well-connected Di Marzio claims Pererya could be announced as a Udinese player ‘in a matter of hours’.
The player will be returning for his second spell at Udinese, having made 98 appearances between 2011-2014.
Once that deal is ratified, there is a strong chance a decision will be made to let De Paul move on.
Llorente gives Leeds chance for tactical switch
Leeds, meanwhile, have confirmed the signing of Spain defender Diego Llorente from Real Sociedad for an undisclosed fee, thought to be £18million.
LaLiga side Sociedad announced the two clubs had agreed a transfer fee on Tuesday night and Llorente, 27, has agreed a four-year deal.
“Leeds United are delighted to announce the signing of defender Diego Llorente,” read a club statement.
“The 27-year-old joins the club from La Liga outfit Real Sociedad for an undisclosed fee.
“The defender has put pen to paper on a four-year deal at Elland Road, running until the summer of 2024.”
The move will give Bielsa the option to play three at the back. United take on Manchester City on Saturday week. Tere are growing reports Bielsa will tweak his tactics for the game.
Either way, Llorente affords Leeds further options and competition for Liam Cooper and Robin Koch.