Leeds snubbed after offering tidy profit for midfielder with Elland Road link

Date published: Wednesday 9th December 2020 3:44 - Jonny Whitfield

Dries Mertens, Eljif Elmas, Lorenzo Insigne

Leeds had a bid worth €25million (£22.5million) for Napoli midfielder Eljif Elmas rejected in the last transfer window, according to a report.

Amid their long-awaited return to the Premier League, the Whites invested heavily in new additions across the pitch.

In defence, Robin Koch and Diego Llorente arrived, while Rodrigo Moreno arrived with excitement further forward.

But midfield was one area that head coach Marcelo Bielsa did not add to with a recognised signing. Indeed, they held interest in several players but no move ended up materialising.

Michael Cuisance – who went from Bayern Munich to Marseille – was one of those, as was Udinese’s Rodrigo de Paul.

According to Italian transfer expert Ciro Venerato, however, Leeds also held interest in Elmas.

The reporter told Napolipiu.com that the Whites, Benfica, Borussia Monchengladbach, Borussia Dortmund and RB Leipzig all had bids rejected for the North Macedonian.

What’s more, their offers were all worth £22.5million. Such an amount would have earned Napoli around £8million in profit on their €16million (£14.4million) signing.

However, Venerato added that Napoli president Aurelio di Laurentiis rejected the proposals. Indeed, the club chief wanted to show his belief in the player after his recent arrival.



De Laurentiis reportedly “focuses heavily” on developing Elmas as a player for the future, as does Napoli’s sporting director Cristiano Giuntoli.

Elmas, who has four goals in 21 caps for his country, is an international teammate of Leeds‘ Ezgjan Alioski.

The midfielder, who began his career in his home nation, moved across Europe to Fenerbahce in 2017. The 21-year-old spent two years in Turkey before signing for Napoli last summer.

Elmas, who made 26 Serie A outings last season, has made seven appearances in the top flight so far this term.

Bielsa talks Leeds injury news

Meanwhile, Bielsa’s men face West Ham in a Premier League fixture on Friday evening.

However, the Whites will be without defender Koch. The summer signing recently underwent surgery on a knee injury he picked up in the 3-1 defeat to Chelsea last time out.

Bielsa has now given a potential time frame on the centre-back’s recovery.

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