By George Overhill

29th Mar, 2023 | 7:10pm

Leeds United remain “hopeful” of holding off Premier League rivals to sign Ilias Akhomach but are facing yet more late competition, according to 90min.

The teenage winger has already decided that he will leave Barcelona and a deal for him to head to Elland Road looked all but done after the club offered him a deal he liked, with reports from LUFCFANZONE (16 March) on the English side and Sport (17 March) on the Spanish suggesting he was close to becoming a Whites player.

Arsenal have since arrived late on the scene (23 March) to hijack the move, and now a new set of English clubs have joined the attempt just as Victor Orta went public with the club’s interest in his home country.

According to 90min, just as the sporting director confirmed Leeds United’s interest, Brighton, Brentford and Wolves have now joined the race, in addition to interest from the likes of AC Milan, Sevilla and Monaco which they seemed to have already overcome.

Despite this the Whites currently remain hopeful that the teenager will complete the move that was widely expected.


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Orta has been central to getting close to the finish line on the Akhomach deal and it seems like no coincidence that he has confirmed publicly the club’s interest at this time.

It could be a late push to demonstrate how committed the Whites are to bringing the youngster in, in order to head off the rapidly growing competition.

The longer it goes without a deal being signed the less it feels like it will be a successful pursuit, as the whole time the door remains open more clubs seem to be attempting to barge through it.

It will be a major frustration to Leeds, and the fans, if this one falls through at such a late stage, and for all the positive work Orta has done in getting to this point, it will subsequently reflect poorly to let it slip away at the last.

Attempts to sign Cody Gakpo and Bamba Dieng failed in similarly last-minute circumstances in the summer, and while the club have done well to bring targets in this year it would be a bad habit to develop to fumble others at the final stage.

Nowhere has yet suggested that another club is now favourite to land Akhomach so there is still the chance that the deal gets done, but that is still a backwards step from a fortnight ago.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites may now be able to land a target they made an approach for in January with his club now waiting for £20million offer.

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