Leeds: Phil Hay expects Weston McKennie to join permanently
Phil Hay claims Leeds United will sign Weston McKennie permanently in the summer if they avoid relegation.
The Lowdown: McKennie a major coup
Leeds managed to bring in four players during the January transfer window, with three of them seemingly being first-team-ready, while Diogo Monteiro is likely to ply his trade with the Under-21 side.
Jesse Marsch now has three new players to improve his side for the second half of the season in the form of McKennie, Maximilian Wober and Georginio Rutter, and now it’s a case of how Marsch gets them all into the starting lineup.
McKennie may well be the most exciting and intriguing of all the signings given he’s swapped Juventus for Leeds, who are in the midst of a relegation battle – albeit it’s only a loan deal at the moment.
The Latest: Permanent deal not guaranteed
Hay has insisted on The Phil Hay Show that Leeds won’t be signing McKennie in the summer if they end up being relegated from the Premier League – but if the stay up, he should sign for The Whites.
He said: “There’s an option in there for Leeds to take him permanently in the summer; it will cost them around £30m.
Are you happy with McKennie signing?
“The intention and the plan would absolutely be to sign him permanently, and I fully expect that to happen unless something strange goes on in the next few months. The one thing that would absolutely avoid that being triggered would be Leeds being relegated.”
The Verdict: Leeds building for an exciting future
The fact that Leeds have managed to prise someone of McKennie’s pedigree away from Serie A giants Juventus while they’re struggling for form in the Premier League is a testament to the work Marsch and Victor Orta are doing off the pitch to make Leeds attractive.
What will have likely played a big part as well as the American contingent at Elland Road is the looming takeover by 49ers Enterprises, so everything is starting to look bright for Leeds off the pitch – they just need to start getting results.
Given that Leeds haven’t sacked Marsch amid a shocking run of two league wins in their last 16 matches, it would suggest they want the American to succeed long-term, although they can’t back him to the point where it impacts them in the present.