Leeds to nip Everton transfer speculation in the bud as significant pay-rise beckons for teenage star

Leeds winger Wilfried Gnonto is an Everton target

Wilfried Gnonto is an Everton target

Leeds United are reportedly set to offer Wilfried Gnonto a new deal to recognise both his decision to ultimate stand down in the wake of Everton attention and as reward for his rapid progress while at Elland Road.

The Italy star was the subject of an intense summer of transfer speculation as Everton made three bids – the latter topping £25m – to try and tempt Leeds into the player’s sale. Having arrived in a bargain £5.2m switch from FC Zurich last summer, the 13-times capped Italy star was one of their few bright sparks over a bleak season that unsurprisingly resulted in relegation.

However, unlike a number of his teammates, who all had relegation release clauses in their deals, Leeds did have some control over the Gnonto situation, making it clear to both the player and Everton that Gnonto would not be allowed to leave.

And while at one stage that stance saw the player refuse to play for Leeds until he got his own way, the player ultimately saw the error of his ways, apologised to new manager Daniel Farke and was then re-intergrated back into the starting line-up.

Since his return to the side, Gnonto has one goal to his name and has generally looked back to his old self as he focuses on the task of helping Leeds secure promotion at the first time of asking.

Nonetheless, rumours of Everton interest are refusing to go away. And the fresh speculation on Sunday that Everton will make a fresh bid for Gnonto ahead of the January window – which officially opens for business in 105 days – has begun to rear its head.

Leeds, however, will refuse to buckle once again.

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Leeds to give Willy Gnonto a new deal

And instead of entertaining another round of unsettling speculation over Gnonto in January, they are reportedly looking to nip that in the bud early by tying Gnonto down to a new and improved deal instead.

Per Football Insider, Leeds are now set to sit down with Gnonto and his agent to tie the player to fresh terms as a result of his decision to stay this summer and to ward off future Everton attention.

And while Gnonto still has four years left to run on his current arrangement, he is one of the lowest-paid players at Elland Road on a deal worth just £20,000 a week.

To that end, Leeds seemingly feel that Gnonto is now worthy of a significant pay-rise off the back of both his progress at the club and in recognition of his decision to stay put.

Under their proposals, Leeds will look to also extend Gnonto’s stay by a further year, with his salary potentially doubling . Significantly, Leeds will not place any release clauses in the contract off the back of seeing a number of other players exploit such arrangements to force through departures over the summer.

Gnonto, who has nine goal contributions (five goals, four assists) from his 30 games for Leeds to date, was one of four players new owners, 49ers Enterprises, tried to keep at Elland Road over the summer.

However, with Jack Harrison (Everton), Tyler Adams (Bournemouth) and Max Wober (Borussia Monchengladbach) all departing, Gnonto is the only one of that quartet still at Elland Road this season.

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