By George Overhill

11th Feb, 2023 | 7:40pm

Torino in real danger of losing Ola Aina for free amid talk of Leeds United move

Ola Aina is in line to leave Torino for free in June amid talk of a possible move to Leeds United, according to Tutto Mercato Web.

The full-back’s contract is set to expire at the end of the season, and the likelihood of the Serie A side being able to keep hold of him seems slim.

His case is deemed “complicated” in Italy due to the expectation that it would require a “substantial raise” to keep him in Turin with there being plenty of admirers in the Premier League.

One of those is believed to be Leeds United who have been linked to the former Chelsea and Fulham man for the past three transfer windows.

He was linked to a £7million move last month [Tuttosport, 6 January], and the latest report suggests that, amid the real risk of him exiting Torino for nothing, an Elland Road move has been talked about for the man who was “excellent” in the 1-0 win over Udinese on 5 February.

The 26-year-old has made 106 appearances for the Italian club, either side of a loan back to England, but with other options in their squad at his position he might be too expensive to keep.

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There must be some interest in Aina if he has been linked to a return to England with the Whites so often, but clearly the club had greater priorities in January.

Right back was just about the only area of the defence that was adequately covered, with Luke Ayling, Rasmus Kristensen and Cody Drameh as options.

But that landscape is likely to change in the near future with the long-term prospects of all three up in the air currently, with summer signing Kristensen’s struggles have seen him lose his place to Ayling whose own contract is due to expire.

Drameh’s loan to Luton came after a permanent exit had appeared on the cards, before former manager Jesse Marsch suggested he had convinced the youngster of his future plans despite barely using him before he was sacked.

Now the American is gone it remains to be seen who replaces him, or what their view of Drameh and the two senior options will be, but it is not impossible that none remain for next season, so a free agent acquisition of Aina might fall into place at the right time for the Nigerian international.

He will be watched by Whites fans unless or until he signs elsewhere, but there is certain to be movement at the position in the summer around Elland Road and it might finally time for him to be involved in that.

In other Leeds United news, one of the former Premier League managers who remains in the running to take over the vacant manager’s job is keen in a return to England, says Phil Hay.