By Jonty Banks

17th Jan, 2023 | 10:40am

Napoli annoyed by Angers as Leeds United defeat competition in Azzedine Ounahi transfer auction

Leeds United have “defeated” transfer competition with their £22million bid for Azzedine Ounahi, but the race for his signature is still wide open, according to Calciomercato.

The report from Calciomercato states that Napoli were filled with “annoyance” at the transfer auction Angers had opened up, with the £15million plus bonuses offer made by the Blues being trumped by their Premier League counterparts.

The Whites placed the superior bid for the 22-year-old on Monday (16 January), 90min reported, after French club Angers opened up a bidding war for the Moroccan’s services, with Leicester also mentioned.

Jesse Marsch’s side reportedly “defeated the competition” with their offer, as Leicester stopped at a pricepoint of £15million and the Serie A side also couldn’t match these financial demands.

Despite holding the leading offer, though, Leeds cannot offer Ounahi Champions League football, which is one of the midfielder’s dreams – and therefore means the race is still wide open.

Battle not over

Leeds can clearly offer Angers and Ounahi the biggest financial package, but the lure of Champions League football could well prove their downfall.

After impressing for Morocco at the Qatar World Cup – where the Atlas Lions finished fourth in their best-ever performance – the midfielder clearly wants to take the next step in his career.

Which direction he wants to pursue, though, is still up in the air, although Leicester City are most likely out of the running after failing to match Leeds’ bid and not offering any European football.

The signing of Ounahi does make a lot of sense for the Whites after the club released Mateusz Klich from his contract this month and subsequently left the midfield a little understaffed.

A pairing of Tyler Adams and the Angers midfielder would be quite something to behold and would definitely shield Leeds’ vulnerable back-four from substantial damage. However, you can’t help but feel the 22-year-old is holding out for an improved Napoli bid.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites are now seeking their third signing of the month with a European contract rebel in their sights.