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Leeds United: Whites make contact for Ola Aina

Leeds United: Whites make contact for Ola Aina -Leeds United News

Leeds United have initiated contact over the possible signing of Torino defender Ola Aina, according to a report from Gazzetta dello Sport (via Sport Witness). 

The lowdown: Previous interest

Initially linked back in January, the former Chelsea youth starlet seemingly remains on the radar at Elland Road as Jesse Marsch attempts to bolster the ranks.

Born in London, Aina made six first-team appearances for Chelsea before spending time out on loan at Hull City and future permanent employers Torino.

The 25-year-old was sent on loan to Fulham for the 2020/21 campaign before returning to Italy where the versatile Nigeria international finally found a permanent home and became a regular feature in Serie A.

The latest: Whites make their move

As per Gazzetta dello Sport, translated by SW, Leeds have been ‘able to move first’ regarding the potential swoop.

It’s claimed that the Yorkshire club have signalled their intentions by ‘launching the usual signals through international intermediaries in the last few hours’ and Torino are ‘open’ to the idea of a sale this summer.

The report also states that ‘other clubs’ are attentive to the situation of the starlet – who was hailed as a ‘brilliant player’ by journalist Oma Akatugba recently following a standout display for Nigeria in a 1-0 victory over Egypt.

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Albeit the report makes no mention of a fee, valued at just £3.15million and heading into the final year of a deal in Italy (Transfermarkt), this is a transfer that should remain wholly affordable for Andrea Radrizzani.

Previously a regular England youth international, Aina has been capped 21 times by Nigeria at the senior level and managed 23 domestic appearances during last term despite missing a portion of the season due to AFCON.

Sharing style traits with the likes of renowned names such as Diogo Dalot, Marc Cucurella and Kyle Walker-Peters (Fbref), Aina was developed predominantly as a right-back, but perhaps his biggest strength is a wide-ranging versatility that has seen the ace operate as a central defender, centre-midfielder, left-back and on either wing as a more advanced midfielder.

That ability to play in six different positions – a Stuart Dallas-esque quality – plus the likely affordable transfer fee makes the Nigerian a surefire worthwhile target for Marsch and Director of Football Victor Orta this summer.

In other news: Leeds now eyeing move for ‘lethal and sublime’ gem, read more here

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