Leeds looking to twist Lyon’s arm as new left-back target emerges

Rayan Cherki, Maxwel Cornet, Houssem Aouar, Lyon TEAMtalk

Leeds United have added Maxwel Cornet to their list of left-back targets but are hoping to beat down their £20m asking price, according to reports.

The left-back position is a priority for Leeds to strengthen ahead of their second season back in the Premier League. Ezgjan Alioski is out of contract at the end of the month and even if he stays, they could need more competition there. Hence, they are scouring the market for options and Cornet is now on their radar.

Originally an attacker, Cornet was converted into a left-back at Lyon over the past 18 months. After originally dropping into the position in January 2020, he has become a reliable performer there.

Of his 29 starts in Ligue 1 last season, 21 came from the left-back position. From there, he still managed to contribute one goal and four assists.

Cornet played further forward on occasion, but his natural territory is now in defence. As a versatile player, though, he could be exactly what Marcelo Bielsa is looking for.

According to The Sun, Bielsa rates Cornet for his “pace and skill” and therefore is interested in luring him to Elland Road.

However, Lyon are holding out for a fee of £20m, so Leeds are preparing to be patient. They hope his market value will drop the further into the transfer window they go.

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There are still two years to run on Cornet’s contract at Lyon, which will expire when he is 26 years old. But Leeds could try to snap him up before them so he can continue to flourish in different surroundings.

It seems they only want to do a deal on their terms, though. With that in mind, they are prepared to play the long game.

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Leeds in shock left-back battle

Cornet is just one of many options for Leeds, who were also recently linked with a stunning move for Real Madrid great Marcelo.

The 33-year-old is set to leave the Bernabeu before the start of next season after seeing his game time diminish. The former Brazil international has made 528 appearances in all competitions for Los Blancos, 374 of them in the league. But he was only seen on 16 occasions during 2020-2021, making 12 starts.

Marcelo has just one year left on his current Real contract and, due to his age, will not be too expensive. It is thought that the capital giants will ask for around £5m for the South American veteran.

His agents are said to be actively seeking new employers for the Rio de Janeiro-born stopper. And it is thought he would prefer to continue his career in England.

Everton are still without a manager after Ancelotti’s decision to re-join Real. But the Toffees are said to be at the front of the queue for his signature.

Whether that was before Ancelotti’s departure is unknown but Leeds also hold an interest. It seems as though his age has not put off Bielsa, who is looking to build on the Whites’ success.

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