Leeds are reported to have won the race to sign Rodrigo De Paul, amid claims Udinese have lowered their transfer demands.
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 earlier this week 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, reports late last week claimed Udinese had lowered their demands to €25m, plus bonuses. That’s a price Leeds are reportedly willing to meet.
Their hopes were given a further shot in the arm after Italian paper La Repubblica claimed Leeds had ‘won the race’ for De Paul. Their article is headlined ‘All wanted De Paul – but he goes to Bielsa and Leeds’.
They write: ‘Another important protagonist will leave Serie A to enrich the long list of top players in the Premier League. De Paul has been courted by almost all the most prestigious clubs in Italy. But in the end he will go to Leeds and Bielsa, a newly-promoted but very ambitious team.’
Those comments back up claims a few days ago by local Udine paper, Messaggero Veneto. They claimed ‘negotiation remains hot’ with Leeds United. Furthermore, they make it clear there’s still a firm chance of the player signing for Bielsa’s side.
Leeds look at Fiorentina star Pulgar
Leeds, meanwhile, have been linked with Fiorentina star Erick Pulgar as a possible alternative.
That’s according to La Nazione, via Sport Witness, who claim United will launch a £10m bid for the midfielder should their efforts to land De Paul prove unsuccessful.
The Chilean moved to La Viola from Bologna last summer and scored seven times in 38 Serie A appearances.
They claim a £10m approach for the player will be rejected, but an increase would give them ‘something to consider’.