Juventus willing to sell star to Leeds – but ask for record breaker in return

Date published: Tuesday 23rd February 2021 9:23 - James Marshment

Alex Sandro, Paulo Dybala, Adrien Rabiot, Douglas Costa, Juventus

Marcelo Bielsa’s reported interest in Douglas Costa will be met with a positive response from Juventus – but they will seek to sign a Leeds star as part of the deal, claim sources in Italy.

Brazilian winger Costa is back on former club Bayern Munich on a season’s loan. The 30-year-old has just 18 months left on his deal with the Serie A champions and looks surplus to the needs of coach Andrea Pirlo.

Leeds are reported to be keen in Costa, amid claims he is on Bielsa’s wanted list should they lose star man Raphinha. The latter joined Leeds in a £17m switch from Rennes last summer and has proved one of the bargains of the season. Indeed, reports have suggested Leeds could face a battle to retain his services amid interest from Liverpool and Manchester United.

And were Leeds to enquire about signing Costa, CalcioMercato24 claim they would be given the green light to sign him. However, there appears a catch. That’s because the Italian outlet claim Juve would ask Leeds for one of their stars as part of any deal.

The man reported to be on their wanted list is Leeds’ record signing Rodrigo Moreno. The Spain striker moved to Elland Road last summer from Valencia for a fee of around £26.7m. His time in West Yorkshire has been indifferent, however. Rodrigo has showed flashes of his brilliance and scored vital goals against Newcastle and Man City.

However, a series of injuries – as well as being used as in a deeper role – have failed to see Rodrigo truly hit top form.

It’s claimed Juve value Costa at around £21.5m. That’s a similar fee that would be needed to prise away Rodrigo were Leeds to sell.

Whether Leeds would be willing to let him go remains to be seen. The former Valencia and Bolton man is highly-regarded by Bielsa.

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Leeds keen on deal for Ligue 1 powerhouse

Leeds have joined the race to sign Lille midfielder Boubakary Soumare, according to a report.

Soumare was a top target for Newcastle in January 2020, with Steve Bruce admitting they had a plane booked for him before he changed his mind.

However, a report over the weekend claimed it was Leicester who were now leading the chase to sign the France U21 star.

Fabrizio Romano claims the Foxes had already contacted his agent over a prospective summer deal.

With just 12 months left on his current deal come the summer, Lille are expected to cash in on Soumare.

Now, a report has stated that has also piqued Leeds’ interest. Reports at the weekend claimed Bielsa has drawn up a list of summer targets for Leeds. And with midfield additions their focus, Soumare has been tipped as a target.

Bielsa’s side have done well on their return to the Premier League. However, they have struggled whenever lynchpin Kalvin Phillips misses out. The England star has missed their last two games due to a combination of fitness issues and personal reasons. And in both those matches, Leeds have suffered defeats at Arsenal and Wolves.

READ MORE: Phillips still out as Bielsa names sparsley-used Leeds man he ‘believes in’


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