By Joe Ellis

12th Jan, 2022 | 3:08pm

Leeds United door nearly open for Aina with Torino signing replacement

Leeds United are close to receiving the green light to sign Torino defender Ola Aina with the Serie A side close to signing his replacement.

According to Calciomercato, a deal has been agreed between Torino and Lazio for Mohamed Fares and they are just waiting for Genoa, the club Fares is on loan at, to allow him to leave.

If the deal is done, Torino would be willing to sell Aina and the Italian media outlet says: “It is Leeds in particular that are interested in him,” although other English clubs appear to be interested.

Useful Utility

A potential stumbling block in negotiations for the 25-year-old London-born defender is his current location.

He is representing Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations and played the full game against Egypt and Mohamed Salah yesterday (11 January) where he kept a clean sheet.

With the tournament not ending until after the transfer window is already shut, Leeds will have to go to extreme lengths to get the deal done this month unless Nigeria are dumped out in the group stage… which is unlikely.

Regardless of the challenges facing the Whites, it is a deal they need to pursue to bolster their options and quality in defence.

Aina is an incredibly useful player to have n your squad as he possesses the ability to play anywhere across the backline and even in midfield if required.

Marcelo Bielsa’s injury problems has meant utility players, like Stuart Dallas, have had an added importance this season and the addition of Aina would be a welcome one for the Argentine.

Leeds fans now have to cross their fingers that Genoa accepts the request of Lazio and Torino to allow the deal for Fares to go ahead, thus opening the door for Aina’s exit.

In other Leeds United news, an 18-year-old academy product has signed his first professional deal.