Having already secured the services of Jack Harrison, Rafa Mujica, Ben White, Helder Costa and Liam McCarron this summer, it looked as if Leeds United were firmly in the running to sign Massimo Luongo from Queens Park Rangers.
Initially linked with the midfielder last month (via London Football News), more fuel was added to the fire on Sunday when Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Warburton decided to leave him out of the squad for the club’s pre-season trip to Austria on Sunday, as per the Brent & Kilburn Times.
Yet according to the latest report from London Football News, Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa has reportedly cooled his interest in Luongo and is now looking elsewhere for reinforcements ahead of the upcoming Championship campaign.
Whereas Nottingham Forest were also thought to be in the fray for Luongo’s signature, the fact that they have yet to make a move for him and have instead brought in fellow defensive midfielder Alfa Semedo from Benfica (via BBC Sport) suggests that he was not a priority.
Although Luongo was a mainstay in the Hoops’ starting eleven last season having made 41 appearances for the club (via Transfermarkt), if he had agreed to a move to Leeds, there would have been no guarantee that he would usurp the likes of Kalvin Phillips and Mateusz Klich at Elland Road.
Whereas Klitch offered a fantastic attacking outlet for the Whites during the previous campaign in which he was directly involved in 18 goals for his side (via Transfermarkt), only four players at the club achieved a higher WhoScored rating than Phillips (6.98).
With a move for Luongo looking to be dead in the water, Bielsa may now be able to switch his focus to resolving Phillips’ future.
According to respected journalist Phil Hay, the Argentine has opened talks with the 23-year-old over a new contract with the offer that is currently on the table set to make the midfielder one of the Yorkshire-based outfit’s top earners.
Although his current deal doesn’t run out until 2021, interest from Premier League side Aston Villa (via The Telegraph) has forced the Whites to act.
Leeds fans, what do you think about the latest update on Luongo? Join the discussion by commenting below.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!