Leeds, Arsenal encouraged as price is set for De Paul alternative

Orkun Kokcu, Feyenoord midfielder

Leeds and Arsenal are likely to be joined in the mix by two other suitors after Feyenoord reportedly put a tempting fee on the head of Orkun Kokcu.

The Feyenoord attacking midfielder was strongly linked with the Gunners over the summer. Indeed, the player even went as far as stating that his father and agent was ‘busy working’ on transfer discussions

While no move came about, Arsenal have continued to monitor the player. However, they are now joined by Leeds, Leicester and Sevilla in expressing an interest in Kokcu.

That’s according to Sport, who claim Sevilla’s director of football has made it a top priority to sign the Turkey U21 international.

The Spanish paper claims that Feyenoord’s finances have been badly hit by the global economic downturn. As such, they may be forced to sell their prized assets; Kokcu among them.

However, the paper claims it won’t be easy for Sevilla to land their man. That’s because Mikel Arteta, Marcelo Bielsa and Brendan Rodgers are also reportedly keen.

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In addition, Feyenoord are said to have stuck a modest €20m fee on Kokcu’s head. It’s a price that has seemingly made the quartet all take notice.

Indeed, Sport readily admits that either of the Premier League trio have the cash to beat Sevilla to his his signature. With money also limited with the Andalusian side, they look likely to have to sell before they can buy. With that in mind, reports on Wednesday claimed a new, lower fee had been put on their own star man, Jules Kounde.

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Kocku speaks out on his future

Of the three Premier League sides, it’s believed Leeds’ need is the greater. They are seeking a replacement for long-serving playmaker Pablo Hernandez. The veteran Spaniard seems destined to leave this summer after a brilliant career at Elland Road.

Leeds have been tracking Udinese’s Rodrigo De Paul. However, despite his admission from his manager, his €40m asking price looks too steep.

Orkun Kokcu AZ Alkmaar v Feyenoord February 2021

United have also looked short in the middle of the park this season, with Mateusz Klich struggling with consistency.

Kokcu, meanwhile, is contracted to De Kuip until 2025, having signed a new deal in January.

Despite that, the player has admitted he could move on if the right opportunity emerged.

“I have a contract until 2025 but the situation has changed,” he said, via Sport Witness, last month.

“The club has been very clear about the financial situation and it is clear that it is not good, so if a club comes with a good proposal for me and the entity can enter a good amount, I imagine that they will be listened to.”

Whether Kokcu becomes a viable target remains to be seen, but his price and profile certainly fit the Bielsa mould.

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