MOT View: 3 transfers Leeds United need to make before January 31st deadline
It has been a frustrating transfer window for Leeds United, with arrivals at Elland Road thin on the ground despite the squad crying out for reinforcement.
Marcelo Bielsa’s team has been beset by injuries this season as they have slumped down towards the relegation zone in the Premier League.
But January has been spent so far in the fruitless pursuit of Red Bull Salzburg midfielder Brenden Aaronson, who the club bid £20million for (The Athletic) but appears to be staying where he is (Leeds Live).
But the door has opened on one major transfer in the last 24 hours and here MOT Leeds looks at three signings that need to be brought in before the deadline.
Takumi Minamino – Liverpool
The Japanese international has emerged as a credible alternative to American Aaronson as Liverpool’s apparent success in landing Luis Diaz from Porto has lead to a change of stance on departures from Anfield.
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Sky Sports reported initial advances from The Whites were rebuffed yesterday, but that all changed today with the Reds £50million hijacking of Tottenham’s attempts to sign Colombian attacker Diaz.
The Athletic now say that Liverpool will consider permanent transfers for Minamino and Divock Origi and value the Japanese man at £20million.
The funds earmarked for Salzburg’s Aaronson should immediately be diverted to the ex-Red Bull man Minamino, who can operate in a central attacking midfield role and provide a boost to the team, especially if the inconsistent Rodrigo moves to Barcelona (Sport Witness).
Boubacar Kamara – Marseille
United have been desperately short in central midfield this season and the long-term injury absence of star man Kalvin Phillips has hurt them badly.
With the England international not back until at least March, and Adam Forshaw also out, this left only Mateusz Klich available for the defeat to Newcastle.
The Daily Mail reported that the club had already spoken to Frenchman’s agent, and with his contract running out he is available at the reduced price of £10million.
At only 22 this makes too much sense to miss out on right now as the U21 international can provide a short-term answer, as well as long-term cover if Phillips makes a big-money move away in future.
Noussair Mazraoui – Ajax
The club has seen what happens when crucial first team stars are taken out of the line up this season, with Phillips and Patrick Bamford missing a lot of time, and an injury to Luke Ayling would another huge blow.
The 30-year-old has no obvious back up in the squad, and Stuart Dallas can only plug one gap at a time, so Moroccan international Mazraoui should be moved for as soon as possible.
The 24-year-old is another whose contract is set to run out and he recently told Dutch media there is only a 5% chance he stays at the Dutch champions (The Sun).
His short contract would make him another cut price option, and his age is another selling point for a player with Champions League experience who has scored four times this season.
Interest in the Eredivisie man is high, with Barcelona (AS), Roma and Arsenal all thought to be looking at him, so a reasonable bid now to head off the competition is needed.
In other Leeds United news, new interest has reportedly arisen for this sought after Whites man.