By George Overhill

9th Mar, 2023 | 9:10pm

Leeds United in line to land Illias Akhomach from Barcelona but move seen as stepping stone

Leeds United are currently in line to land Barcelona teenager Illias Akhomach but likely won’t get him for long if successful, based on a report from Sport.

The winger is now certain to leave the Camp Nou with the “decision already made” because their offer is a long way below what is being put forward from England and Italy, and a switch to Elland Road is on the cards with the Whites “at the forefront” of the race to sign him.

Although nominally a free transfer, his arrival would require financial compensation to the Catalan giants, and he doesn’t plan a long stay at his next club.

The 18-year-old Spaniard, who has made three senior appearances for Barca, reportedly “sees his next step as a springboard” to a great career in European football, suggesting the move is only ever going to be a stepping stone.


Unless or until Leeds United are firmly established back in the Premier League and can start building into the top half of the table it is the cost of doing business that any player who hits the heights will eventually move on.

The Raphinha move in the opposite direction last summer is the prime example and, the torturous nature of his departure to the Blaugrana aside, it was far better to have had the Brazilian star for two seasons than not at all.

So if Akhomach is talented enough to have Barcelona hoping to hold on to him and the likes of reigning Serie A champions AC Milan after him then the Whites should press ahead and bring him in.

If the deal is successful it is shaping up to be one of Victor Orta’s final flourishes, with his transfer market dealings undercut by his decisions at coaching level.

The Spaniard has reportedly been key to Leeds United positioning themselves at the head of the queue for the youngster [LUFC Fan Zone, 20 February].

But with his backing of Jesse Marsch causing friction behind the scenes he may not be long for Elland Road, and if the relegation battle that the managerial mishaps have help contribute to is lost then Akhomach’s arrival can surely be written off too.

In other Leeds United news, Phil Hay expects an imminent departure from the club after a very public dismissal.

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