FC Zurich forward Willy Gnonto was forced onto the bench in the Europa League this week after transfer speculation with Leeds United, according to the Scotsman.
The newspaper has reported in its print edition [20 August, pg. 4] that the Swiss side, who beat Hearts 2-1 in the Europa League qualifier first-leg, still saw the Italian impress in the final 20 minutes.
It is reported that although Leeds are pushing for a transfer, Gnonto will still jet into Scotland to take on Hearts in the second leg in midweek at Tynecastle.
Writing in their latest snippet, the Scotsman shared that the transfer talk is starting to get to both club and player it seems over in Switzerland.
“Gnonto has been heavily linked with English Premier League club Leeds United and the transfer talk resulted in the 18-year-old being used from the bench in Thursday night’s Europa League play-off round first leg tie between Zurich and Hearts, which the Swiss won 2-1,” they wrote.
“Gnonto still made a strong impression in 20 minutes he was on the pitch and is expected to travel to Scotland next week, despite Leeds boss Jesse Marsch admitting interest in the player.”
With Gnonto due in the United Kingdom at the end of next week, things could really get interesting.
The transfer window slams shut the following Wednesday (31 August) so Victor Orta could make the most of this opportunity that may have fallen into the hands of Leeds.
Zurich will want Gnonto at his best for the return leg against Hearts and hopefully helping them to secure European football, but they could also see this as their best opportunity for talks.
The Italian international is quickly approaching the end of his contract in Switzerland, and this summer may represent the last chance for them to take home full value.
Of course, matters on the pitch will take centre-stage first, but it would be no surprise to see Leeds representatives in the crowd at Tynecastle as Hearts take on the Swiss.
All eyes are on Gnonto, will he start this time around?
In other Leeds United news, the Whites now want to sign this striker with a rival set to kickstart a major £30million+ transfer battle