West Ham and Burnley looking to get former Leeds starlet back to England

Nestor Watach

West Ham United and Burnley are set to battle it out for the signature of Sampdoria midfielder Ronaldo Vieira, a new report suggests. 

The former Leeds United man, who has represented England at Under-21 level, has put in a series of impressive performances for the Serie A club.

The Athletic report that the 21-year-old defensive midfielder could be due a return to English shores 18 months after leaving Leeds for Sampdoria.

Vieira was allowed to leave Elland Road for a reported fee of £7m in the summer of 2018, with Marcelo Bielsa instead opting to build his midfield around fellow academy graduate – widely considered to be the inferior prospect at the time – Kalvin Phillips.

That’s a decision that’s paid off for Leeds, with Phillips integral to the club’s back-to-back promotion challenges under Bielsa, but the Italian press suggests that Vieira has also been developing well over in Serie A.

The Daily Mail reported earlier in the week that Sampdoria turned down a bid in the region of £12m for the player, with the latest suggestions that they’re holding out for well over double what they originally paid for him – £16m.

It’s said that Hammers boss David Moyes is a long-time admirer of Vieira and is desperate to sign him in the midst of the club’s battle against relegation.

Moyes was considering travelling to Genoa to watch Sampdoria’s game against Sassuolo on Sunday, but Vieira is currently struggling with a knee problem and only appeared for the final 18 minutes of the goalless draw.

The Athletic’s transfer reported David Ornstein suggests that a loan deal is out of the question, and that Burnley are also tracking the midfielder’s development in the Italian top flight.

Clarets senior scout Ian Butterworth was in attendance at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris to watch Vieira on the weekend, and while a move for him during this window was ruled out in the report, they could potentially make a move for him in the future if a transfer to the London Stadium fails to go through.