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.
Leeds United round-up: Hosseini snub, Maddison not happening and Bamford hopes
A selection of the latest news and gossip from Leeds United.
Hosseini said no
Leeds United wanted Majid Hosseini this summer, according to reports in Turkey. Gazete Damga report that Marcelo Bielsa wanted to sign the Iranian from Esteghal this summer.
However, that deal never happened. The Iranian international, who played at the World Cup this summer, snubbed Leeds as he had already made a verbal promise to Trabzonspor regarding a move to Turkey.
It is the second Iranian linked with Leeds this week, following reports Leeds are tracking Morteza Pouraliganji.
Leeds United are unlikely to go for Peterborough United playmaker Marcus Maddison this month.
The Posh midfielder has long been linked with Leeds and there have been suggestions the Whites might swoop with a loan-to-buy offer this month.
However, Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Phil Hay doubts such a move is or ever was in the pipeline.
New Leeds striker Patrick Bamford believes the ‘sky is the limit’ under the management of Marcelo Bielsa at Elland Road.
The £7 million summer signing from Middlesbrough was speaking to The Yorkshire Post today about his hopes at his new club.
Bamford believes Leeds have the chance for plenty of success with their new manager.
The striker scored his first goal for the club in the League Cup win v Bolton Wanderers this week.
Leeds United must loan Yosuke Ideguchi to English club to get the best out of Japan international
The Japan international could be sent out on loan again this month.
In January, Leeds United secured the signature of Japan international Yosuke Ideguchi. The central midfielder arrived from Gamba Osaka for a reported fee in the region of £500,000. However, he did not stick around at Leeds for long.
He was sent out on loan to Cultural Leonesa in Spain. Something of a sister squad because of their links to Leeds director Ivan Bravo it was felt the Japan international was better off in Spain’s second tier.
That did not prove to be the case. Ideguchi struggled for regular football in Spain and his loan club were relegated from the second tier. It meant Ideguchi missed out on a place in the Japan squad for the World Cup this summer.
This season, it appears first-team football will again be hard to come by at Elland Road. Marcelo Bielsa has even suggested a loan deal might be in Ideguchi’s future.
But if that is the case, Leeds must keep him in England.
“We haven’t made a decision yet. By the end of August the club will take the best decision for the player.”
There will be plenty of Championship and League One teams after a player of Ideguchi’s quality before the end of the month.
The 21-year-old needs to start learning how to play the game in England. It is a tough task transitioning from football in the J-League to the Championship, but having him play in Spain again will do little to teach him the ropes.
Leeds must find a team in the UK to take Ideguchi on board. Then he will be on the track to a shot at Leeds in the near future.
Jack Grealish valuation must make Leeds United wonder about Samuel Saiz
The Leeds United playmaker has been in fine form this season.
Leeds United are through to the next round of the League Cup, after beating Championship rivals Bolton Wanderers last night. The Whites, who are thriving under new manager Marcelo Bielsa, won 2-1, with goals from new signing Patrick Bamford and Spanish magician Samuel Saiz.
The latter once again put in a fantastic performance. The Spaniard has become a cult hero at Leeds and with performances like this it is easy to see why.
Of course such form will not go unnoticed. Saiz put in excellent displays last season, before a six-game suspension for spitting threw him off kilter.
Such form saw him become the subject of transfer interest back in his homeland this summer. Fichajes reported that Valencia, Huesca and Getafe were all keen on the player. A bid of £8 million was even reported to have been made, but was swiftly rejected by the Whites.
Leeds fans will no doubt fear such interest, but will also wonder just how much he is worth. When considering Aston Villa wanted a reported £35 million for Jack Grealish, a player many Leeds fans would suggest is inferior, then £8 million does not even come close.
The real hope will be Saiz can keep up the form for an entire season. If he can do that, Leeds might be looking at promotion, which will make the thought of selling him seem ridiculous.
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