By Mark Smith

16th Jan, 2023 | 8:40am

Phil Hay: Leeds United must make room in budget for Azzedine Ounahi transfer in January

Multiple sources have shared that Leeds United are now “seriously keen” to sign Angers midfielder Azzedine Ounahi, according to Phil Hay.

The Athletic journalist has reported that the Whites must find room in their budget to make it happen, with the Moroccan star set to cost up to £20million.

Napoli are also interested but all eyes are on midfield at Elland Road after the release of Mateusz Klich to join DC United over in the MLS this month.

Writing in his latest snippet for The Athletic, Hay dropped some seriously exciting news as we enter the second half of the January transfer window.

“So with Rutter in the building, what are they after next? All eyes are on a central midfielder after the release of Mateusz Klich last week.

“Leeds have been linked heavily with Angers’ Moroccan World Cup star Azzedine Ounahi in this window and multiple sources are telling The Athletic that the Elland Road side are seriously keen — keen to the point of genuinely considering a move for him before the end of this window.

“Ounahi’s price has gone up, naturally, to around £20million after his performances in Qatar and Napoli are chasing him too. Leeds would need to find room in their budget to make it happen but do not rule it out.”

Big fans.

Victor Orta and Andrea Radrizzani have made it no secret that they are both big fans of Ounahi, with the two texting about him during the Qatar World Cup.

Leeds have already smashed their transfer record to bring Georginio Rutter to the club, so it would be a groundbreaking month if Ounahi was to arrive too.

With Klich leaving though, Jesse Marsch has been left with limited senior options in his midfield, so another first-team face could be critical right now.

This is more than just a link between Leeds and Ounahi now, as it refuses to go away, which usually means that a concrete move isn’t far away.

Leeds need to cough up the cash and get this one moving sooner rather than later, or someone else will, and they will be left to rue their mistakes in this January window.

All eyes are on Elland Road right now, with this one move potentially the difference between a good month, and a world-class month.

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