Noel Whelan remains bullish about Leeds United’s chances of signing Rodrigo de Paul this summer despite interest from Atletico Madrid.
The Lowdown: Leeds keen on De Paul
The Whites look to set for a busy transfer window as Marcelo Bielsa looks to bring undoubted quality into his squad.
One player who has been continually linked with a move to Elland Road is De Paul, having shone for Udinese in recent times. The £34.2m-rated Argentine registered nine goals and nine assists in Serie A this season, catching the eye with his class in the final third.
The Latest: Whelan provides update
Speaking to Football Insider, former Leeds striker Whelan discussed the current situation regarding Atletico, remaining relatively confident that De Paul will pick the Whites instead:
“It depends where he wants to play his football. Does he want to play in the best league in the world or go to La Liga and finish and second or third next year?
“That’s what it is. He would be in the Champions League but there will be a reaction from Barcelona and Real Madrid next season.
“They’re the giants. They will be strengthening. It’s entirely up to him and where he feels better suited. It means someone at Leeds is doing a good job because if Atletico are interested then Leeds’ scouting network is working.
“We need to watch this space, he has two massive clubs looking at him and it looks like he has a choice.”
The Verdict: Game-changing signing
De Paul is a player who could take Leeds up another level, possessing game-changing ability (as evidenced by his goal contribution figures) and standing out as a Bielsa-type player.
The 27-year-old’s aforementioned quality in attack would no doubt appeal to the Leeds manager, but perhaps most importantly, an average of 1.2 tackles per game in the league last season shows he is also happy to muck in defensively, a trait which is non-negotiable for Bielsa.
It isn’t going to be easy for Leeds to get their man, but if they can pull it off, it could feel like a truly significant piece of transfer business should they beat La Liga champions Atletico Madrid to the chase.
In other news, a pundit has provided a bleak outlook for one Leeds player – find out who it is here.
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