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Leeds United: Whites ‘in talks’ over Azzedine Ounahi move

Leeds United: Whites 'in talks' over Azzedine Ounahi move - Follow up

Leeds United have been ‘in talks’ over a possible move for January transfer target Azzedine Ounahi , according to a claim from journalist Pete O’Rourke.

The Lowdown: Ounahi on Leeds’ radar

The Angers midfielder was a standout player in the Morocco team who sensationally reached the World Cup semi-finals last month, being named in ESPN writer Mark Ogden’s team of the tournament in Qatar.

The 22-year-old has unsurprisingly found himself the subject of intense transfer speculation following on from those exploits, with Leeds at the forefront of the rumours.

90min reported earlier this week that the Whites had submitted an increased offer believed to be €25m (£22m), and O’Rourke has claimed that Victor Orta and co have been in negotiations over a possible Elland Road move for Ounahi.

The Latest: Leeds ‘in talks’ over Ounahi move

The journalist was speaking with GIVEMESPORT to share the latest on Leeds’ pursuit of the Moroccan, who is valued at €30m (£26.3m) by his club, and he believes that the Whites will need a ‘big-money offer’ to tempt Angers into selling the midfielder.

O’Rourke stated: “I think it’ll have to be a big deal. They’ve been in talks over a possible move but have been unable to agree any fee with Angers right now.

“Obviously, Angers are going to be looking for a big-money offer considering how well the player performed for Morocco at the World Cup, so that will raise his price tag and also other clubs interested in his services, with Napoli keen to do a deal.”

The Verdict: Value for money?

When reflecting on Ounahi’s performance metrics in comparison to Leeds’ current midfielders, it comes as no surprise that Jesse Marsch wants the Moroccan at Elland Road.

The 22-year-old boasts a WhoScored rating of 6.72 so far this season, which would put him fifth in the Whites’ squad and superior to every midfielder currently at Marsch’s disposal.

Ounahi could improve Leeds’ attacking intent significantly, with his match average of 2.6 dribbles per game double that of Jack Harrison, the Whites’ best performer in that regard, and placing him in the top 1% of positional peers for dribble completion among midfielders in Europe’s top five leagues over the past 12 months.

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The only question is whether Leeds can afford to match or exceed Angers’ reported valuation this month, given that they have only recently spent a club-record £36m fee to land Georginio Rutter from Hoffenheim.

Spending big on Ounahi could be a case of speculating to accumulate, but they also need to ask themselves whether an outlay of £26m+ would represent value for money when the possibility of relegation from the Premier League this year cannot yet be discounted.

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