By George Overhill

25th Jan, 2023 | 1:10pm

Leeds United reach final step to sign Weston McKennie from Juventus after Aston Villa and Bournemouth talks - Fabrizio Romano

Aston Villa and Bournemouth have both had talks with Weston McKennie’s agent but Leeds United are now down to the “final step” of a move, reports Fabrizio Romano.

The American is available given the turmoil at Juventus, who have been deducted 15 points and look certain to miss out on European football next season, and has agreed personal terms for a move to Elland Road.

That leaves the Whites ahead of their Premier League rivals to land the midfielder if they can reach a deal with the Old Lady, after switching attention from Angers man Azzedine Ounahi.

In his BetVictor transfer blog Romano wrote: “Keep an eye on Weston McKennie – his agents also had conversations with Aston Villa and Bournemouth in the last 3 weeks but Leeds United are now pushing to sign him.

“Leeds have two options: one is Azzedine Ounahi from Angers, the other is Weston McKennie as the American midfielder has already said yes to Leeds project and agreed personal terms, so Juventus’ conditions to let him go are the final step to get it done.”

Advantage Whites

McKennie is a man in demand this month, no doubt boosted by the fact that he had a strong World Cup for the USMNT.

Pairing him with international captain Tyler Adams in West Yorkshire makes sense and looks to have an appeal to the player, with Brenden Aaronson also familiar to him.

Adams and Marc Roca have been virtually ever present at the base of the Leeds United midfield this season, but at times the shaky defence has not had the protection it apparently needed from the men in front.

McKennie looks like he won’t be cheap if the Whites are to meet Juve’s conditions, but perhaps alongside the other two he can sure up the midfield, after thriving in a three with Adams and Yunus Musah in Qatar.

At 24 and two years Ounahi’s senior the American certainly has far more experience at the top level than the Moroccan, who himself starred at the World Cup.

McKennie has 96 appearances for Juventus after racking up 91 for Bundesliga side Schalke 04, so while he hasn’t been a total hit at the Allianz Stadium he could be a useful addition to the midfield ranks that is likely to lose Adam Forshaw in the near future and has already seen Mateusz Klich depart.

In other Leeds United news, a Premier League rival are ready to try to prize a star man out of Elland Road following the completion of a big-money deal.