Leeds United continue to be linked with a move for Rodrigo de Paul with reports in Italy now revealing just how close they came to landing him in the summer.
De Paul was a major target for Leeds ahead of their return to the Premier League earlier this year. They were prepared to break their transfer record for the Argentine.
However, despite hints from De Paul that he wanted the move, nothing went through. He has since started the season in decent form with Udinese, recording two goals and one assist last month.
After the summer transfer window shut in October, there were rumours that Leeds could relaunch their efforts to sign De Paul in January.
It seems though, Leeds won’t be alone in their pursuit for the player with Juventus and also Inter Milan now believed to be keen.
Nonetheless, reports in the Italian media remain certain Leeds are keen on De Paul and that the player himself fancies the move.
Hopes of a potential deal have been lifted by reports that Udinese have now dropped their asking price from €40m to €35m.
Even so, De Paul has hinted he won’t rock the boat at Udinese. He is said to remain relaxed over his future, insisting his family are settled in the city.
Nonetheless, InterLive reports that Leeds came within a whisker of landing De Paul in the summer. They allege De Paul was willing to make the transfer. Furthermore, they state only a ‘faded signature at the photo-finish’ prevented the deal going through.
They remain adamant, however, that the prospect of playing for Marcelo Bielsa remains one of huge appeal to the player.
Furthermore, Sport Witness state Andrea Radrizzani and his Italian network will continue keeping an eye on the player. They also insist the possibility of Leeds returning for De Paul remains.
Barcelona want Leeds to sign Puig
Barcelona, meanwhile, reportedly hoping to tempt Leeds into signing young midfield star Riqui Puig on loan in January.
The 21-year-old Puig has been promoted the Barcelona’s main squad this season, with Ronald Koeman clearly a fan of the player.
However, Puig’s development has slowed at the Nou Camp this season. That’s after Philippe Coutinho won back favour under Koeman in the Barca boss’ preferred 4-3-3 formation.
Now Barca are looking to loan him out to continue his development.
According to reports in Spain, Barca see Leeds as the perfect next stage for his development. As per Sport, officials at the LaLiga club believe some time learning under Bielsa can massively aid Puig’s game.