Leeds United’s head of European recruitment, Gabriel Ruiz, has come clean on their reported interest in Udinese playmaker Rodrigo de Paul.
The Udinese playmaker was strongly linked with United over the summer, with their €35m asking price ultimately proving prohibitive.
It was claimed Leeds made a €30m offer for the player, though this was never substatiated by official sources. There was also talk that links to Leeds were being used to generate potential interest from Juventus.
As it was, Leeds ultimately signed another Rodrigo – Moreno – from Valencia in a club-record deal. Brazilian winger Raphinha later followed in an €18m switch from Rennes.
However, Leeds links to De Paul refuse to disappear. Talk re-emerged earlier this month suggesting Marcelo Bielsa remained keen to sign his fellow Argentine.
Now for the first time, Leeds’ interest in De Paul has been ratified by Ruiz. He claims United did explore the possibility of a deal in the summer, but ultimately looked elsewhere.
When quizzed how close they were to landing De Paul, Ruiz gave an honest to Tuttomercatoweb.
“There was actually some contact. We talked about it, but then we decided to focus on other options,” Ruiz said.
While that doesn’t either rule in or rule out a future move, Leeds fans continue to be excited about the prospect of the player adding to their ranks.
Ruiz on Roma interest in Victor Orta
One figure key to Leeds’ recent revival is director of football Victor Orta. He’s the man who has helped push deals over the line for Moreno, Robin Koch and Raphinha.
But it could have been a different story had Roma been successful in their approach for Orta this summer.
Orta ultimately ended up staying to finish the job he started at Leeds.
Ruiz was left to explain though why quitting Elland Road was never in the Spaniard’s mind.
“It existed in the past. But the talks did not go on because of his desire to continue at Leeds. Our club is a crazy project and his will has always been to carry it forward, to work with Leeds,” Ruiz explained.