Report - Leeds plot swoop for PSG defender, player yet to agree new contract
Leeds United are interested in signing PSG teenager Thierno Balde, according to L’Equipe.
The Whites have recently been linked with a potential swoop for 17-year-old centre-back Tanguy Kouassi, who has stepped into the French giants’ first team setup this season, as per 90min.
But while the situation surrounding the youngster remains unclear, it is understood that Leeds have also taken a shine to his teammate.
Balde has stepped into Kouassi’s vacated spot in PSG’s reserve team this term, but has yet to agree to a new contract in the French capital.
L’Equipe report that talks are ongoing over a potential agreement, but also point out that Leeds are monitoring the situation, and are understood to have “notably expressed” their interest in the matter.
Marcelo Bielsa’s men aren’t the only club circling, however, with Southampton and St. Etienne also said to be keen.
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Balde certainly looks like a real prospect to us.
The 17-year-old can play at right-back or in the centre of defence, and while he may still be waiting on his first team debut, he has impressed hugely at youth level this season.
As per Wyscout, the teenager has averaged a defensive duel win rate of 83.9% this term, as well as winning 71.4 of his defensive duels.
As a point of reference, Ben White has averaged 72% and 55.1% in those two categories respectively.
Similarly, Balde has won more interceptions and made a higher percentage of ball recoveries in his own half.
Of course, there is a big difference between playing reserve team football and vying for promotion in the Championship, but the youngster can only beat what’s in front of him, and the early signs are that he has plenty of promise.
If he was available on a free transfer, this could prove to be a real coup for the Whites.
In other Leeds United news, MOT View: FA rule likely to benefit £400k teen sensation who Phil Hay tipped to shine at Leeds.