By Jonty Banks

20th Dec, 2022 | 9:10am

Leeds United scouting mission underway with Victor Orta searching for Raphinha-like transfer in January

Victor Orta’s scouting network will currently be searching for a Leeds United transfer in the ilk of Raphinha or Luis Sinisterra as the club eye January signings, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post.

After missing out on the signing of World Cup star Cody Gakpo in the summer window – whose value has now risen exponentially – the Whites will look for another hidden gem in the winter window.

Jesse Marsch will likely require extra bodies in the new year, with first-teamers Cody Drameh and Mateusz Klich both heavily linked with an exit from Elland Road.

And according to a report by Joe Donnohue, Orta will be keeping tabs on players who didn’t play in Qatar and have their pricetags bumped up by the tournament.

He reported: “Unbeknownst to the wider public, Orta’s scouting network will have eyes on several players, not exclusively those who have shone at the World Cup such as Gakpo.

“The hope for Leeds is that Orta’s network can deliver another Sinisterra or Raphinha for a more palatable sum than the £50million that PSV are likely to command for Gakpo’s services next month.”

Get to work

Despite his occasional transfer shortcomings in the past, Orta has pulled some gems out of the bag during his time at Leeds.

The signing of Raphinha was a masterstroke, and the summer signings of Tyler Adams and Luis Sinisterra already look like some smart business after both impressed in the early stages of the Premier League season.

All three of these players went under the radar of the top clubs in Europe, and this is a credit to Orta, who used his contacts well to get the deals over the line.

Although the World Cup is usually a breeding ground for the World’s next up-and-coming talents, scouting elsewhere could be a shrewd move and a decision that save the club a whole heap of money in the long run.

Whites fans will surely hope Orta can pull another rabbit out of the hat and deliver a box-office centre forward to the club as a late Christmas present.

In other Leeds United news, a transfer surge could be on the cards as a double exit draws ever closer in January.