Leeds United transfer latest: World Cup history maker link denied as La Liga side close on Whites target

The latest speculation as the Whites look to strengthen their squad before the end of the month.
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The midway point of the transfer window has passed and Leeds United have enjoyed a productive month so far.

Austrian international defender Max Wober became Jesse Marsch’s first new addition when he completed a reported £11m move from RB Salzburg within three days of the window opening. That was followed by the completion of a club record deal when Hoffenheim’s highly-rated forward Georginio Rutter was secured last week.

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There has been one rather emotional departure as the popular Mateusz Klich was released from his contract to allow him to put pen to paper on a deal to join MLS outfit DC United after he was given a guard of honour following his last ever appearance at Elland Road last week.

Could there be further movement before the end of the month?

Leeds ‘deny’ link to history-making World Cup star

The Whites have been heavily linked with a move for Angers midfielder Azzedine Ounahi ever since he played a key role in helping Morocco become the first African side to the reach the World Cup semi-finals in Qatar last month.

Azzedine Ounahi was one of Morocco’s best players at the World Cup.Azzedine Ounahi was one of Morocco’s best players at the World Cup.
Azzedine Ounahi was one of Morocco’s best players at the World Cup.

After impressing with his all-action style and composure on the ball, Ounahi was said to be attracting interest from clubs in Serie A, La Liga and the Premier League, with West Ham United and Napoli said to be among the frontrunners for his signature.

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Journalist Fabrizio Romano has suggested Leeds have made an offer for the midfielder but this has been countered by a claim from CalcioMercato writer Alessio Lento, who has stated the Whites have ‘denied the possibility’ of adding Ounahi to their squad.

La Liga side set to land blow to Leeds’ hopes of signing Chile striker

Jesse Marsch’s wish to add some new attacking talent to his ranks has been well-versed in recent months, despite the additions of Wilfried Gnonto and Georginio Rutter.

33/1 (13th favourites)33/1 (13th favourites)
33/1 (13th favourites)

One name that has featured heavily in speculation is Blackburn Rovers frontman Ben Brereton-Diaz, who is approaching the final months of his current deal with the Championship club. After impressing at international level following an unexpected call-up to the Chile squad, the 23-year-old is now said to be closing in on a pre-contract agreement with Spanish club Villarreal.

Football Insider have claimed the La Liga side are ‘expected’ to win the race to land the striker and see off competition from Leeds and West Ham United. However, they also add Villarreal could even sign Brereton-Diaz in an £8m deal before the end of January.

Whites scouts ‘alerted to the progress’ of Portuguese prospect

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Leeds are also said to be keen to add to their academy ranks and TeamTalk have claimed director of football Victor Orta is ‘looking to prise’ Portugal Under-17 defender Diogo Monteiro away from Swiss club Servette.

WINDOW WARNING: From Leeds United director of football Victor Orta, above. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.WINDOW WARNING: From Leeds United director of football Victor Orta, above. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.
WINDOW WARNING: From Leeds United director of football Victor Orta, above. Photo by George Wood/Getty Images.

The centre-back moved to Switzerland in 2020 and became the youngest player to feature in a Super League game when he made his senior debut at the age of 16 years, one month and nine days in a 2-1 win against Basel in March 2021. He has gone on to make a further six appearances for his side and The Athletic have reported he has been watched by Leeds scouts in recent months.