By Craig Scott

26th Aug, 2020 | 12:10pm

Phil Hay shares what Leeds keep saying about striker, club adamant deal is not happening

The Athletic journalist Phil Hay has been repeatedly told that Leeds United are not in the hunt to sign Basel centre-forward Arthur Cabral.

According to Brazilian news outlet Globo Esporte, Leeds have tabled a bid worth £16.2million for the 22-year-old striker with Marcelo Bielsa keen on signing him.

UOL added that Arthur’s agents were due to fly into Portugal to discuss a potential transfer for their client and that the player wants to play in the Premier League.

However, Hay has asked Leeds about Arthur and it sounds like the club has been pretty emphatic in their response.

“Leeds keep ruling out Cabral,” wrote Hay on The Athletic website when asked about the speculation. “They say it’s being pushed by the agent.

“My understanding is that Rodrigo is instead of Watkins but I’ll need to check where Leeds are at. I’m expecting them to move onto Koch quickly – a centre-back is probably their biggest priority in this window.”

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Arthur might have been a good signing for Leeds if the club was actually pursuing him but, who cares? Leeds appear set to sign Rodrigo in a club-record deal.

Leeds’ director of football Victor Orta has already said he is “very happy” with the deal for the 29-year-old Spain international while footage has emerged of him arriving at a clinic to undergo a medical for the Whites.

Arthur is seven years younger than Rodrigo and the Basel forward [18] scored more goals in all competitions than the soon-to-be Leeds player [7] last season.

However, Rodrigo’s move to Leeds is all but done with Valencia confirming a deal has been agreed in principle while the links to Arthur have only really been emanating from Brazil.

As Hay says, it sounds as though Arthur’s agent is trying to whip up interest in the 22-year-old after a strong season in the Swiss Super League.

But now the Rodrigo deal is almost done, it’s unlikely those agents will be making the same noises about Leeds anymore.

In other Leeds United news, the Whites want a new centre-back before a friendly match next week.