By Saikat Mandal

20th Jan, 2023 | 8:40am

Azzedine Ounahi could become new hero at Leeds United as Victor Orta is in touch over late January signing

Leeds United could still sign Moroccan midfielder Azzedine Ounahi in the January transfer window, and he could become the new hero at this iconic club.

Speaking to The Phil Hay Show (16 January, 33:00), Phil Hay, the Athletic journalist shared that the Whites are in touch with Angers over a “possible” move and the club could wait until the end of the window to secure his signature.

Ounahi was a standout performer for Morocco in the World Cup and his value has risen. He would cost in the region of £20-25m, and the funding is a big issue for Leeds.

“I think they are still to decide on whether they will go with it,” said Hay.

“They do like Ounahi but his value has changed significantly on either side of the World Cup. He was an £8-£10m player prior to the WC, but now we are talking about £20-£25m, which is the kind of premium you tend to get when you have a particularly good tournament as he did.

“It is possible. They are active on that front. They have been in touch. They are looking at it. But there will of course be the question of funding.

“I think there is still the option they sit tight and say look, ‘in this window we really wanted a left back’ and which you know how they got in fashion and got Wober, ‘we wanted a forward and got Rutter and broke the club transfer record for that,’ equally maybe towards the end of the window they may think another midfielder will not hurt and they decide to do it.”

New hero

Victor Orta has done a terrific job once again. Ounahi is a class player and he could be the new hero at Elland Road if they can get the deal done.

He has got pace and flair, fantastic passing ability, and can dribble past players with ease. These are the things the fans love to see. Ounahi could also benefit under Jesse Marsch’s gung-ho style football, and in theory, should be an ideal fit at the club.

The club needed to sign a left-back, and they got a reliable defender in Max Wober, who can also play as a centre-back. 

The Whites needed a striker to add depth to their ranks, and they signed Georginio Rutter from Hoffenheim on a club transfer record. 

With Patrick Bamford back in the side and scoring goals again, and Willy Gnonto in scintillating form, the addition of Rutter will only improve the side. 

If the transfer window ends here, it can still be seen as a successful one, and Marsch will have no complaints about the support he received.

However, the addition of another midfielder won’t hurt. The Whites lost Mateusz Klich this month who joined DC United in the MLS, and there could be a need to fill his void. 

The Whites have scouted Ounahi him for years. He would be a superb addition, but Leeds are probably playing a waiting game here to sign him.

In other Leeds United news, visit our live transfer blog for around-the-clock updates straight from Elland Road.