By Sam Stone

27th Jan, 2023 | 12:10pm

Phil Hay doubts Leeds United deal for Azzedine Ounahi will be completed by 31 January

The Athletic’s Phil Hay doubts Leeds United will complete a move for Angers midfielder Azzedine Ounahi before the January window comes to a close.

CBS journalist Ben Jacobs (Caughtoffside, 25 January) claimed the Whites were still in the hunt for the 22-year-old midfielder, despite turning their attention to Juventus’ Weston McKennie.

However, Hay has since suggested a move for the Moroccan midfielder has not progressed at all in recent weeks in the background at Elland Road.

“Azzedine Ounahi is a player who is worth £20m to £25m and there are examples in the past of it being a flawed strategy to pay big for a player on the basis of one international tournament, having said that, he looked very good and it would be unreasonable to think his value wouldn’t increase,” said Hay (Phil Hay Show, 22m 40s, 27 January).

“But this move hasn’t progressed at all. It was one we all thought was going to get going but it’s in the background and hasn’t seemed to move forward at this stage.”


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It’s not a surprise to hear the move for Ounahi be back put on the backburner. Leeds are actively trying to sign McKennie and the American certainly looks like the more likely transfer at this stage. It’s been suggested by journalist Manuel Veth (via Twitter, 26 January) that the 24-year-old has said goodbye to his teammates as he closes in on his move to Elland Road.

Ounahi would’ve provided a slightly different option for Jesse Marsch to call upon. He’s more forward thinking and would be a unique option in the Whites’ squad. However, it apperas the the Leeds boss is eager to stick to what he knows with McKennie.

The combative American comes in a similar mould to Tyler Adams and could form a dynamic partnership with his compatriot in the centre of midfield. Competition was certainly required with Marc Roca and Adams shoo-ins to start every Premier League game.

If McKennie does join Leeds that will certainly not be the case moving forward.

In other Leeds United news, visit our live transfer blog for around-the-clock updates straight from Elland Road.