By Craig Scott

29th Apr, 2021 | 5:07pm

Phil Hay suggests Leeds United-linked Rodrigo De Paul will exit Udinese in transfer window

Leeds United-linked Rodrigo De Paul is likely to leave Udinese at the end of the season, according to The Athletic journalist Phil Hay.

De Paul, 26, has been in stunning form in Serie A this season, scoring eight goals and supplying eight assists in 31 league appearances for Udinese.

The Argentina midfielder was strongly linked with a move to Elland Road last summer [Fabrizio Romano] and even took to Twitter to say he would be interested in joining up with Marcelo Bielsa’s squad amid the height of the speculation.

Speaking on the latest episode of The Phil Hay Show podcast on The Athletic website, ex-Yorkshire Evening Post journalist Hay suggests that De Paul will be moving on in the summer.

However, he’s unsure about whether or not he’ll be heading to West Yorkshire.

“I’m going to watch De Paul with great fascination like everybody else,” said Hay.

“I can’t help feeling he is going to move somewhere this summer.

“I was watching some of the highlights of his assists and goals and so on in Italy and it just seems as if his time at Udinese must be at an end.

“But there’s still no suggestion it’s going to be Leeds but you live and hope don’t you.”

De Paul would turn us into PL powerhouses

Leeds have impressed in their first season back in the Premier League.

As it stands with five games left to play, the Whites are ninth, above Arsenal and only 11 points away from the Champions League places.

Considering how long we’ve been away from the top-flight and how many of the current starters were being used in the Championship last season, that is incredible and Bielsa deserves massive credit for the transformation he’s overseen in Yorkshire.

However, there are obvious areas in the squad that need to be improved and the central midfield area is one of them.

De Paul has been one of Europe’s leading central midfielders this season.

According to WhoScored’s match-rating system, only Cristiano Ronaldo [7.65] and Zlatan Ibrahimovic [7.62] have better ratings than De Paul in Serie A this term [7.50].

Stats by Wyscout show that the Argentine has the highest expected assists figure in Europe’s top-five leagues [12.73] and only four players have completed more key passes than he has [34].

A lot of players get called ‘world-class’ these days by De Paul is as close to that Leeds could probably hope for – especially after his Twitter post last summer.

Unfortunately, his form is bound to attract Europe’s elite. But Leeds have aspirations of being among that elite so we expect them to be at least in the running to land the Udinese ace.

In other Leeds United news, this Whites star is set to be offered a deal that will double his wages.