By George Overhill

29th Jan, 2023 | 6:40pm

Fulham make last-gasp approach to hijack Weston McKennie move to Leeds United

Fulham have made a late attempt to hijack Weston McKennie’s move to Leeds United in addition to Nottingham Forest, according to The Times.

The American midfielder is flying into England on Sunday (29 January) evening ahead of his Elland Road medical and contract signing, with the Whites hoping to tie up their loan-to-buy deal ahead of deadline day.

The Athletic’s David Ornstein had already named Steve Cooper’s Forest as one of the sides showing late interest in disrupting the move, amid delays between Leeds agreeing personal terms with McKennie and a deal being reached verbally with Juventus.

But according to The Times on Sunday, Marco Silva’s Fulham joined Forest and other unnamed sides in making late approaches, hoping to “bring a late change of heart in the player”.

Hands off

It is obviously not 100% certain until he is officially announced as a Leeds United player but it has seemed all along that he was sold on joining Tyler Adams and Brenden Aaronson in West Yorkshire.

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His head could still be turned once he is in England, but having got this close to an Elland Road move it would surely take an outlandish increase in wages to tempt him.

That is before other clubs can even hope to agree a deal with Juventus, which hasn’t been easy for Leeds but was pushed over the line during Thursday night by Andrea Radrizzani [Fabrizio Romano, 28 January].

It would appear that there are therefore too many hurdles to negotiate in too little time for the crowd of Premier League sides looking for an opening, but the knowledge that there are multiple clubs actively engaged in the situation won’t be a comfort for Whites fans over the next few hours.

The likes of Romano seem convinced that it is Leeds’ move now, and all indications are that it is going to end up being a permanent one come the end of the season, with easily reachable conditions transforming the option to an obligation.

If we reach deadline day on Tuesday (31 January) without an announcement then it might be time to start sweating, given Arnaut Danjuma has already walked out on a loan deal to Everton after having completed virtually all the formalities on Merseyside, so wrapping everything up on Monday would certainly be preferable.

In other Leeds United news, he has been spotted at the airport ahead of making the flight to England.