Southampton are reportedly looking to raid Schalke in a bid to sign USA international Weston McKennie and are ready to offload three players in order to fund a deal – and Leeds should consider a reunion with Marcelo Bielsa.
McKennie, 21, has been eyed as Southampton’s replacement for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg who has completed a move to Tottenham Hotspur for £15million. It is believed McKennie is likely to cost north of £20million.
The Times claim Southampton have transfer-listed three out-of-favour players in the form of Guido Carillo, Wesley Hoedt and midfielder Mario Lemina and it is the latter that Leeds should consider signing this summer.
Lemina, 26, cost Southampton £15million (Times) from Juventus in 2017. Two years beforehand he joined Juventus from Marseille – where he played under Marcelo Bielsa during the 2014-15 campaign in France.
The Gabonese midfielder played 25 times under Bielsa despite being just 20 years of age. Talking to Ligue 1’s website in 2014, Lemina said of Bielsa: “”When you know the man, it really gives you the desire to give your all.”
Now available for a transfer, six years on from those quotes – Bielsa has got to consider bringing him to Elland Road. Leeds need a midfielder – either as cover for Kalvin Phillips or to partner Mateusz Klich.
Lemina went on loan to Turkish side Galatasaray last season – renowned as being one of Leeds’ biggest rivals. But he has returned to Southampton and is expected to leave. His ball-playing ability and stamina should interest Bielsa.
Not only that, but it takes players time to get up to speed with Bielsa’s style – just ask Jean-Kevin Augustin. But Lemina would know what to expect, and that could allow him to hit the ground running under Bielsa.
Leeds should sign Lemina with Southampton looking to get rid – and form a reunion with Bielsa.