Reports this week in Italy have suggested that Leeds United are moving closer and closer to securing a permanent transfer of Jerry Mbakogu from Italian side Carpi. Gazzetta Dello Sport report that Leeds struck a €3.5million (£3 million) deal with Carpi for the Nigerian striker. He is set to sign a four-year deal with the club until 2022.
Whilst Leeds Live has since suggested a done deal is not yet a reality, it certainly seems as though the West Yorkshire side are in the hunt for the attacker.
They were heavily linked with his signature in January and the latest reports suggest such interest remains.
On the one hand, it looks a decent signing. Mbakogu is a pacey forward who can score goals. However, in reality, Leeds fans are rightly unimpressed with the move.
Mbakogu, who received his Italian passport recently allowing a move to happen with ease, is not the goal threat Leeds are after. He had a great 2014-15 campaign, scoring 15 goals in 30 games for Carpi as they won Serie A promotion.
But since then, he has been fairly mediocre. This campaign he has just six league goals in 25 outings, in a season disrupted by niggling injuries. He has been largely outperformed by former Leeds striker Mirco Antenucci at rivals SPAL for the past two campaigns.
Leeds need strikers with a proven pedigree in the Championship. The top-scorer charts in the Championship this campaign contain names such as Lewis Grabban, Matej Vydra and Leon Clarke – experienced lower league competitors. It is players of that ilk that Leeds want to see come through the door, not struggling for goals Italian-based strikers.
The signing of Mbakogu would certainly seem like a backward step for Leeds. It is the sort of signing that was prevalent in the Massimo Cellino-era. An Italian-based player of fairly ordinary background and talent.
The Andrea Radrizzani and Victor Orta era was supposed to spawn something different, this signing would suggest otherwise.
This Cellino-like signing should be left alone by Leeds, who could use their £3 million toward the signing of experienced Championship operators needed across the park.
Of course, Mbakogu could prove the doubters wrong if he heads to Leeds. But history suggests this type of signing does not work out well at Elland Road.