Price rises to €15m for Leeds target, as serious rivals emerge

Date published: Tuesday 5th January 2021 8:35 - Matthew Briggs

Kouadio Kone TEAMtalk

Leeds United have serious rivals for midfielder Kouadio Kone, despite Toulouse increasing his price tag by almost 50%.

Scouts from the Whites have been checking on Kone, who has been impressing in Ligue 2, according to RMC Sport.

Now Calciomercato (via Sport Witness) report that AC Milan are also tracking the 19-year-old.

Kone, a central midfielder, has scored once in 17 appearances this season and has impressed the watching scouts. So much so so that Leeds “already had contact” with Toulouse, according to the Italian outlet.

They also reported that Serie A giants Milan has also enquired about the player. In fact the Rossoneri had “the opportunity to speak with the agents” of the player.

Toulouse had placed a €10m price tag on the French-born star, who is under contract until June 2022.

On Monday Milan’s interest had progressed to “opening negotiations” with the French side.

However, the interest has led to Toulouse now wanting “close to €15m” for Kone.

The south of France outfit have taken advantage of the interest shown in the player and have raised the stakes accordingly.

Milan are not understood to be deterred by the price hike with Stefano Pioli keen to stamp his authority on the squad this month.

 

 

De Paul going nowhere

Meanwhile, Udinese have informed Rodrigo de Paul’s suitors, including Leeds United, they have no intention of selling the playmaker in the January window.

Argentine midfielder De Paul was a major target for Leeds in the summer transfer window. De Paul has been one of Serie A’s standout players in his position over recent years.

It even appeared that De Paul wanted the move to Leeds, but the two clubs could not agree a fee. Indeed, reports last year revealed just how close they came to signing him.

As such, it’s been claimed they could go back in for De Paul in January.

The player even sent the rumour mill into overdrive this weekend when the player dropped something of a transfer hint.

However, that speculation has been very quickly difused by Udinese sporting director Pierpaolo Marino.

However, there remains hope for Leeds and fellow suitors Inter Milan and Juventus.

That’s after Marino suggested if De Paul was to leave, it’d be in the summer as opposed January.

“The Pozzo family never sell Udinese top players in January. So I can only confirm that if he does leave, if he receives the right offers, then it’ll be next summer,” Marino told DAZN.

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