Arsenal can steal Barcelona man from Leeds United grasp as Victor Orta sacking torpedoes ‘done deal’

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Ilias Akhomach of Spain U20s Credit: Alamy
Ilias Akhomach of Spain U20s Credit: Alamy

Arsenal have been given a great opportunity to sign a Barcelona player from under the noses of Leeds United after the Whites’ ‘done deal’ was ruined by Victor Orta’s sacking, according to a report.

Both director of football Orta and manager Javi Gracia have been axed by Leeds in the last 24 hours. On Tuesday, Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani released the following statement regarding Orta: “I am deeply saddened by the way that this chapter closes as Victor has been responsible for some of the best moments of my time as owner of Leeds United and I thank him and his people for all they have done in the past six years.

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“However, it is clear that it is time to change direction and therefore we have agreed that Victor will leave the club.

“I understand supporters are hurt and upset, but now is a time for unity.

“We have four cup finals left to play this season and working together, I believe we can survive.”

Surprisingly, Orta could walk straight into a new job as Spanish side Sevilla are weighing up whether to re-appoint him. He worked for them between 2006 and 2013, eventually rising to the role of technical director.

READ MORE – Arsenal transfers: Stan Kroenke sets record budget for Mikel Arteta to inspire Champions League charge

Gracia followed Orta out of Elland Road on Wednesday. Leeds have brought in renowned relegation firefighter Sam Allardyce to try and keep them in the Premier League. One consequence of the West Yorkshire side getting rid of both Orta and Gracia is that they will no longer be able to sign Ilias Akhomach from Barcelona.

On April 18, it emerged the 19-year-old winger was ‘on his way’ to Leeds after they fought off Arsenal to capture him.

Victor Orta sacking ‘changes everything’, gifting Arsenal opportunity

But according to an update from Spanish outlet Sport, the departures of Orta and Gracia have ‘changed everything’.

It was a ‘done deal’ between the two clubs, though the transfer will no longer be happening as Orta was the main person pushing for Akhomach’s arrival. Plus, the teenager does not want to join a club in crisis, which is exactly where Leeds are right now.

Interestingly, Sport note that Akhomach will still be leaving Barca in the summer. His contract expires in June and he will not be penning an extension. Even the Leeds U-turn will not convince him to stay as he does not view himself getting first-team opportunities under Xavi.

Leeds’ move being scuppered gives Arsenal a brilliant chance to land the exciting attacker. The Gunners were pushing hard to sign Akhomach before seemingly losing out in April.

The Spain U19 international, who is also eligible to represent Morocco, would likely jump at the chance to join Arsenal.

After all, Mikel Arteta’s side are in a much more stable position than Leeds. They are still in the mix to win the Prem title too, although Manchester City are leading the charge as things stand.

Plus, Akhomach will be aware that he would get game time under Arteta if he can impress the coach. Arteta has placed his trust in young players such as Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and William Saliba, and they are all thriving.

If Arsenal go on to snare Akhomach, it will be another example of why teams should never give up in transfer pursuits until a player signs on the dotted line.

Meanwhile, Jamie Carragher has named the best thing Arteta has done while in charge of Arsenal.

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