Manchester United saw an 11th-hour bid to sign Jean-Kevin Augustin from under the noses of Leeds United fail, according to a report on Tuesday.
The Championship promotion hopefuls announced the capture of the French striker from Red Bull Leipzig on Monday morning, the capture of Augustin – which could become a permanent £19.7m deal in the summer – a significant coup for Marcelo Bielsa’s side.
Leeds supporters will hope Augustin’s arrival at Elland Road will give Leeds the spur they need to get over the promotion line this season after 15 years in the doldrums, with Bielsa speaking warmly of the striker’s qualities in his press conference on Monday lunchtime.
“He’s a centre forward with movement, mobility. He’s involved in the combined play from the team. And he has a lot of presence in the box and he’s going to be useful for the needs we have,” Bielsa explained.
Now Augustin looks set to make himself even more popular among the Leeds faithful after The Athletic’s David Ornstein, a reliable source when it comes to transfers, claimed on Tuesday morning that the striker rejected a late approach from Roses rivals Manchester United to secure his signing.
Explaining their failure, Ornstein tweeted: “Man Utd made late enquiry for Augustin but Leeds move too advanced/impressive.”
Man Utd made late enquiry for Augustin but Leeds move too advanced/impressive. That + Fernandes, Cavani, Piatek, Sancho, Giroud, Bergwijn, Eriksen, Rose, Mari, Matviyenko, Vieira, Chelsea, Newcastle & more with @markchapman @liam_twomey for @TheAthleticUK: https://t.co/AXiyHbIKoN
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) January 28, 2020
News of the Red Devils’ failure to land Augustin will come as another blow for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is desperate to bring in a new striker after losing Marcus Rashford for a lengthy period of time.
The 22-year-old striker faces at least six weeks on the sidelines, with Solskjaer confirming the full extent of the injury after Sunday’s 2-0 Premier League defeat at Liverpool.
They are said to have scoured the market for a replacement, most likely on loan, with links to Edison Cavani and Krzysztof Piatek so far drawing blanks.
It’s believed they make a late play for Augustin on Sunday afternoon but that stage the striker had already boarded a flight to Leeds and was undergoing medical checks ahead of confirmation of his loan deal on Monday morning.
“First of all for the coach and it’s a historical club in England,” he said.
“It has a big objective this season to go back to the Premier League. I know it has been 16 years since they were in the Premier League, so of course the project already excited me. I know it’s a big club in England, there are lots of fans at every game and they want to go back to the Premier League.”
It’s not just the club itself that has caught Augustin’s eye, he is also a fan of head coach Bielsa.
He said: “Everyone knows him in the football world, he’s a real big tactician. I didn’t have to think long when Leeds wanted me and that he wanted me to come.
“I’m really happy to be here today. I hope to bring my quality to the team. It’s an exciting project for the players, for the city and for the fans. I’m going to bring my football while I’m learning with him and helping the team while doing that.
“I’ve played in different leagues and I’ve never been in England. I know, whether it be in the Championship or Premier League, I wanted to come here and play here. I’m going to do everything I can to help the team get back to the Premier League.”