Leeds United reportedly saw a summer offer for Adama Traore rejected by Wolves in what would have proven a club-record transfer for the Whites.
The Whites have been decimated by injury issues and Covid absences this season. Their strength in depth has been stretched to breaking point in recent weeks with Marcelo Bielsa often forced into playing multiple stars out of position at the same time.
And while Bielsa says Pascal Struijk, Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo should all be available at West Ham, they still need new additions this month.
To that end, they are reportedly pressing ahead with a plan to buy a versatile Torino man, who can play a variety of roles.
Leeds, though, are also looking to add to their midfield and their strikeforce. Kalvin Phillips’ injury has been badly felt and his return is not slotted in until early March – still some six weeks away.
As for their attack, they are also reportedly chasing a deal for Lazio’s Vedat Muriqi.
However, one area they are blessed in is on the wings. Indeed, Bielsa can call upon star man Raphina, as well as Jack Harrison and Daniel James. Dutch youngster Crysencio Summerville is another option from the bench.
James finally signed for Leeds over the summer in a deal worth £25.2million. It marked the end of lengthy chase by Bielsa, who nearly signed him in January 2019.
Leeds moved for James once Manchester United brought in Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho. However, it’s now emerged that they also saw a huge bid for Traore turned down earlier in the summer.
Adama Traore snubbed Leeds approach
Traore is a player known well to Leeds director of football Victor Orta. Indeed, he was the man who brought the Spain star to Middlesbrough from Aston Villa.
And he reportedly remains a player of interest to Orta.
However, a move to Tottenham now looks likely for Traore. Indeed, our exclusive has revealed the four player Spurs are offering to Wolves as part of the deal.
It could all though have been so different for Traore had Leeds’ bid been accepted.
Journalist Duncan Castles picks up the trail on the Transfer Window podcast.
“Leeds United tried to sign him last summer for a cash sum of over £30m. But Adama Traore was not interested in moving to Leeds. Wouldn’t speak to them, so that deal didn’t happen last summer,” Castles explained.
Leeds links to Vedat Muriqi gather pace
Leeds, however, will seemingly have more joy in their pursuit for Muriqi.
Bielsa’s side have opened talks over a deal for the 27-year-old. Leeds want an initial loan deal with an option to buy worth £8.6million.
Now, according to Corriere della Sera, Leeds are pressing ahead with the move. And there’s a growing optimism a deal will soon be struck.
The Kosovo striker has struggled since signing for Lazio, registering just two goals in 48 appearances. He’s a long way down their pecking order and the Serie A side are very much open to his departure.
The move for the striker has been questioned by several Leeds fans, who are alarmed at his form in Serie A.
However, by signing him with an ‘option to buy’, Leeds will at least not be putting themselves in a awkward situation down the line should the move not pay dividends.
Muriqi also has a solid record at international level for Kosovo, where he has 18 goals in 37 appearances for his country.