Liverpool are set to rival Leeds United for the signing of Udinese midfielder Rodrigo de Paul, acting as a big blow to the Whites’ hopes of securing a deal.
The Lowdown: Long-term Leeds target
Leeds were strongly linked with a move for the 26-year-old last summer, failing to bring him in on Deadline Day after pulling the plug on a deal.
The interest has not gone away, however, and it has been claimed by Football Insider that the Whites have been willing to make a club-record bid for the Argentine this summer, who is valued at £34.2m by Transfermarkt.
The Latest: Liverpool emerge as potential suitor
The Reds are believed to have spoken to the player’s agent Mino Raiola ‘several times’, regarding a move to Anfield, with both Milan sides also interested.
The Verdict: Undoubted blow for Leeds
This could be a big setback for Leeds given how dead-set they seem on pursuing De Paul, with Liverpool a club with a huge amount of pull with Jurgen Klopp in charge, even despite their struggles this season.
The Reds also have one of the biggest wage bills in football (via The Liverpool Echo), suggesting they would be happy to offer the player an awful lot more than Andrea Radrizzani would.
The hope is that the lure of playing under fellow countryman Marcelo Bielsa could turn the midfielder’s head, however, as well as being more likely to be a guaranteed starter at Elland Road.
With eight goals and assists each in Serie A this season, and an average of 1.3 tackles and 0.5 interceptions per game, he could provide so much all-round quality in the middle of the park, helping Leeds find another level, but Liverpool’s interest being serious certainly feels like a worrying turning point.
In other news, one Leeds player has reportedly already sealed his future. Find out who it is here.
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