Leeds United transfer target Noussair Mazraoui is wanted by Barcelona this summer, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.
The Lowdown: Leeds keen on Mazraoui
The right-back has become a key player for Ajax in recent years, making 19 Eredivisie starts this season and chipping in with five goals and two assists for good measure.
Leeds have reportedly been keen on acquiring Mazraoui’s services in the near future as they potentially look for a long-term replacement for 30-year-old Luke Ayling.
Indeed, the Elland Road club, as well as Arsenal and Jose Mourinho’s Roma, are all eyeing the player, who revealed there’s only a five per cent chance he stays with Ajax, per earlier reports.
However, a fresh update on the Moroccan doesn’t sound too promising from a Whites perspective.
The Latest: Romano makes worrying claim
Taking to Twitter on Monday, Romano confirmed that Mazraoui is one player at whom Barcelona are looking ahead of the summer transfer window:
“Barcelona are on it. After Andreas Christensen, they plan to progress in talks to sign Cesar Azpilicueta, Franck Kessie and Nouassir Mazraoui. Negotiations ongoing.”
The Verdict: Hard to compete with Barcelona
In truth, once a player is linked to a club of Barcelona’s stature, it immediately becomes hard to complete, given their stature as one of the world’s biggest clubs, whereas Leeds are embroiled in a Premier League relegation battle.
Mazraoui would have been an ideal summer addition too, which compounds the blow for the Whites. The Moroccan averages 1.4 key passes per game from right-back in the league this season – only two players at Elland Road can exceed that average, and both are forwards, so the 24-year-old could have added a tremendous attacking outlet from a defensive position.
With Ayling turning 31 later this year, it is important that other alternatives are lined up, with long-term planning vital under Jesse Marsch.
In other news, Leeds have been backed to sign a Premier League player this summer. Find out who it is here.
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