Leeds United may not have what it takes in pursuit of PSG striker Arnaud Kalimuendo amid claims the player is also offered to a Serie A giant and rival Premier side League is also enthusiastic.
The Whites have made a great start to the summer transfer window, proving to be the most active club in the Premier League. Indeed, they have already signed six new signings, spending over £94m in the process. Incredibly, they are currently on track to make a transfer profit with the sales of Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha due to Leeds net of an initial £97million.
However, Leeds United haven’t finished on the transfer front themselves and are still keen on signing a new striker. In effect, reports on Sunday suggested a deal to bring in Sonny Perkins from West Ham was closing.
The teenage striker, however, is likely to be seen as a long-term investment and addition to the squad primarily for the upcoming season. As such, a major investment in another striker appears to be on the cards.
To that end, Leeds are closely linked with Charles De Ketelaere. However, that offer appears to be stalling with AC Milan closing in on his signature. Given Milan’s ability to deliver Champions League football, the Serie A champions have always had the upper hand.
As a result, Leeds would turn their attention to PSG leader Kalimuendo. The striker is said to be available this summer, having spent the last two seasons on loan with Lens.
During his time with the Ligue 1 side, he scored 21 goals in 60 appearances, contributing six assists. That’s one goal involvement every 2.2 games, a tidy figure for a star still only 20 years old.
Italian suitors also love Arnaud Kalimuendo
Now The team reports that Leeds saw an opening bid of £17m fall through. However, hope remains with PSG reportedly ready to sell for around £21m.
That £4million shortfall shouldn’t be too difficult for Leeds to fill.
However, it seems Leeds United are not alone in their pursuit of Kalimuendo.
The team also report that Inter Milan are considering an approach for the striker. To that end, PSG are seeking a deal for Inter Milan defender Skriniar and the report claims that Kalimuendo could be used as a bargaining chip in the negotiations.
Moreover, Newcastle United are also said to be enthusiastic. Eddie Howe’s side are chasing a new striker themselves this summer, after seeing the pursuit of Hugo Ekitike come to a halt. As a result, they could still launch a counter-bid to compete with Leeds.
Striker points up
It’s easy to see why Kalimuendo is a wanted man. At only 20 years old, he has already shown enormous promise. And while £21million is a huge investment, in our time it could be a bargain.
Plus, he has time on his side to get even better.
Indeed, after representing France at U16, U17, U18 and now U21 level, the hope is that he can eventually progress to the full Les Bleus national team.
His coach at Lens can also see something special in the player and predicts he will improve further.
“Arnaud Kalimuendo has now played 30 more matches. This allows him to develop in all areas,” said Lens boss Franck Haise. Ligue 1 official website.
“The Kali in a year or five years will be another player. Every minute, every goal scored or unscored brings him something. He progressed well during these two seasons in Lens.
If the player moves up to the Premier League, a 10-goal comeback in his debut season would only see that value rise.
As such, it’s easy to see why Leeds are keen, although they may need to act quickly if they want to secure his signature.
Meanwhile, Leeds’ patience over Raphinha’s sale appears to have paid off, with Barcelona caving in to their demands and a deal now done.
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