By Neil Champney

30th Jul, 2020 | 2:20pm

'Gave me his word' - Teammate of reported Leeds target speaks out on potential summer exit

Reported Leeds United target Thiago Almada has already given his word that he will not be leaving current employers Velez Sarsfield, according to teammate Fernando Gago.

The 19-year-old emerged as a potential summer swoop for the Whites after reliable journalist Juan G. Arango claimed that Marcelo Bielsa’s men are in the hunt to snap him up this summer.

Since then, Almada himself has suggested that he would be eager to work under his compatriot at Elland Road.

But Gago seems unwilling to entertain the prospect of the teenager leaving his home country just yet.

Speaking to the print edition of Ole, he said: “Everyone knows when it is time to go.

“But hey, he’s going to have to stay another year because he already gave me his word.

“If he doesn’t comply, I won’t let him leave the house”

Prior to this update, it did look as if a deal for Almada was not out of the question this summer.

If Leeds are keen and the player is keen – and if his reported £20 million release clause is deemed reasonable – then you would have to argue that this one could have legs.

And he’s a real prospect too.

As per Wyscout, the South American has averaged more dribbles, more passes, and more shots on target per 90 minutes than Pablo Hernandez this term.

But Gago’s claim seemingly complicates matters.

Of course, he could be joking, and even if he isn’t, things do change rapidly in football.

But this is the first time that we’ve really seen any kind of snag in Leeds’ mooted pursuit, and it will be very interesting to see how this one develops from here on out.

In other Leeds United news, Bielsa wants this 15-goal South American striker.