By Sam Stone

14th Jan, 2023 | 3:10pm

Phil Hay shares Leeds United-Seko Fofana transfer verdict as Ligue 1 midfielder speculation emerges

The Athletic’s Phil Hay has suggested there’s been “far more chat” about Azzedine Ounahi compared to Seko Fofana as Leeds United look to add a midfielder to their ranks.

Hay claimed (Phil Hay Show, 26m 41s, 13 January) the Whites do like Ounahi after he starred at the World Cup for Morocco.

Media Foot (10 January) reported Fofana was being looked at by Leeds ahead of a potential summer transfer. However, Hay has revealed Ounahi is the preferred target with the club also having other midfielders shortlisted.

“There’s far more chat in recruitment circles about Azzedine Ounahi [compared to Seko Fofana] but I don’t think he will be the only option in central midfield,” said Hay (Phil Hay Show, 33m 08s, 13 January).

Needed

Another midfielder should certainly be on the agenda for Jesse Marsch, particularly after the departure of Mateusz Klich to DC United. Tyler Adams and Marc Roca have been astute signings by Leeds but are fairly defensive-minded in their play.

A player who can break the lines coming from deep and also help the side out defensively is what the Leeds boss is after. With Hoffenheim striker Georginio Rutter set to sign for the Whites and Max Wober already making his debut, it will be intriguing to see whether the board fund another big-money move.

There’s certainly been a lot of ambition over the past two transfer windows in terms of players who have joined the club and the pressure is now firmly on Marsch’s shoulders to deliver.

The squad is now largely made up of his players and there will be nowhere to hide for the Leeds boss if results don’t improve. This group of players has been expensively assembled and it’s now time for them to show they’re capable of competing in the top flight.

In other Leeds United news, a member of the club’s leadership council has posted a three-word response as a first-team player completes a permanent exit.