Rodrigo De Paul is keeping Leeds United waiting because he is holding out for a firm offer from Juventus, claims a report in Italy.
The Udinese playmaker is a firm target for Marcelo Bielsa with Leeds’ interest labelled “serious” by The Athletic’s reporter Phil Hay.
Rodrigo Moreno and Robin Koch have already arrived at Elland Road, as Leeds strengthen their squad.
And, as per sources in Italy, Leeds officials held talks with Udinese owner Gino Pozzo over the weekend.
Leeds would need to smash their transfer record and offer around €35m to lure De Paul away from the Dacia Arena, as he only extended his contract last October to June 2024.
However, convincing De Paul, 26, to chance his arm in England could well be the biggest factor.
According to Calciomercato.it and the Messaggero Veneto newspaper, De Paul is unconvinced by the Leeds option.
There is believed to be rival interest from Napoli, Fiorentina, AC Milan and Juventus and De Paul is said to be keen on the latter.
Reports claim he wants to hold out for Juventus to make a concrete offer for him.
Transfer wise, Leeds' interest in Rodrigo De Paul remains serious. Financially they can do it and De Paul is keen to go to a club where he'll be a main player. Leeds still have eyes on CB options if Bielsa decides he wants another. #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) September 3, 2020
That could come in the next few days because Tutto Mercato Web claim De Paul’s agent is heading to Italy in the coming days to sort out the player’s situation.
New Juve coach Andrea Pirlo is apparently a known admirer of De Paul. While De Paul is believed to have holidayed this summer with his fellow Argentina international and Juve star Paulo Dybala.
Whether he will be a “main player” at Juve, like The Athletic claim he is demanding, remains up for debate.
Leeds chasing Croatian
Meanwhile, Croatian source Sportske Novosti claim that a €20m deal for the left-footed Josko Gvardiol is almost a formality with Bielsa very keen to get a deal done.
The 18-year-old Dinamo Zagreb defender is very highly rated and while in the Dinamo academy he was being tracked by Bayern Munich, Ajax and Manchester City.
Leeds might have to wait until later in the month to get their hands on the Croatian Under-21 though because he is thought to want to help Dinamo secure their place in the Champions League next season.
Dinamo face Celtic’s conquerors Ferencvaros first up on September 16, so Leeds might have to bid their time before Gvardiol arrives at Elland Road.