Southampton’s board were ready to accept Leeds United’s bid for Che Adams this month, before Ralph Hasenhuttl blocked the striker’s departure, according to a report from the Daily Express.
Adams has been linked with a move to Elland Road for much of the January window.
It was arguably an intriguing pursuit. Despite Adams not scoring for the Saints since his summer move, he has been involved in recent weeks and has helped Hasenhuttl’s men produce a stunning turnaround in form.
The persistence in the rumours linking him with a move to Leeds while he was involved however, hinted that there may be something for the Whites fans to get excited about.
But those hopes appear to have now been dashed.
The Daily Mail reported earlier this week that Adams was keen to stay at St Mary’s after holding talks with Hasenhuttl about his future.
And it now appears that it was not only Adams who had to be talked round by Hasenhuttl.
The Daily Express is reporting that the Southampton board were ready to accept a loan bid from Leeds for Adams.
The move would have included a clause that would see the striker’s switch to Elland Road become permanent for £10 million in the summer.
TBR View – Leeds frustration understandable
Adams has struggled since joining Southampton. Nevertheless, you could understand if Leeds were left kicking themselves over seemingly missing out on signing the former Birmingham man.
The 23-year-old was outstanding in the Championship last season, so it is not difficult to see why Bielsa may have felt that he was the perfect replacement for Eddie Nketiah.
And a loan deal which included a £10 million option to buy would have arguably been a huge coup for Leeds.
The best case scenario would have obviously involved Adams scoring the goals that see Leeds across the line in the promotion race. In that case, funding a £10 million move to sign him permanently would surely be no problem for the Whites.
And the worst case would hardly leave Leeds in a bad position. The fans will be expecting a number of key players to leave if they fall short again – and that should ensure that the finances of signing Adams are not a problem.
Meanwhile, Leeds would have been left with a striker who has proved that he can be devastating in the Championship.
Some supporters would have been forgiven for feeling that the suggestion that Leeds could sign Adams was too good to be true.
Unfortunately for the Whites, that has proved to be the case – but only after Hasenhuttl put his foot down.