Leeds Utd thunder in with bid to hijack Tottenham target’s move, as Marsch guns for season-defining triple coup

Morocco and Angers midfielder Azzedine Ounahi Credit: Alamy
Morocco and Angers midfielder Azzedine Ounahi Credit: Alamy

Leeds Utd have tabled a bid to sign a World Cup stand-out wanted by Tottenham, Leicester and Napoli, as Jesse Marsch closes in on a trio of deals that could define their season, per reports.

The Whites wasted little time addressing one of their primary concerns going into the January transfer window. Left-back has proved a problem position all season given Junior Firpo continues to struggle with the adaptation to the Premier League.

Pascal Struijk is a centre-half by trade, but has been forced to deputise as a full-back for the vast bulk of the campaign.

However, Leeds identified left-back as an area they had to address and quickly wrapped up a move for RB Salzburg’s Max Wober.

Centre-forward is another position under the microscope given Patrick Bamford’s injury-riddled decline over the last 18 months.

On that front, three top sources (Florian Plettenberg, Phil Hay, Fabrizio Romano) have all pointed towards Leeds signing Hoffenheim frontman, Georginio Rutter.

Personal terms have been agreed and the 20-year-old is open to the move. The full details on Leeds’ Rutter chase – including the size of their bid – can be found here.

Elsewhere, central midfield is in focus following Mateusz Klich’s emotional departure.

The Pole had been with Leeds dating back to their Championship days, though was pushed down the order following the twin arrivals of Tyler Adams and Marc Roca.

Jesse Marsch can also call upon Adam Forshaw as well as Sam Greenwood in his engine room. However, a significant upgrade on both those players could be bound for Elland Road.

Leeds Utd going toe-to-toe with Napoli for Spurs target

French outlet FootMercato report Leeds Utd are smitten with Morocco midfielder, Azzedine Ounahi, and have acted on their interest by lodging a bid.

The size of the bid isn’t stated, though it’s claimed the offer has been ‘confirmed’ as being tabled by the outlet’s English sources.

Ounahi, 22, plies his trade at club level for French side Angers, though rose to prominence through a series of dominant displays for Morocco in Qatar.

He worked wonders in the engine room alongside Sofyan Amrabat and as such, has quickly compiled an impressive list of suitors.

Leicester like what they’ve seen and view Ounahi as a viable successor to Youri Tielemans. The Belgian is out of contract at season’s end and will depart either this window or the next.

Spurs too are impressed and have been heavily linked. Sporting Director Fabio Paratici had even opened talks over a move earlier in January, according to reports out of Italy.

However, Tottenham were usurped by Napoli who Fabrizio Romano reported had launched a £13.2m bid on Friday.

Leeds have joined the party by making their own offer, though may have to pay over the odds to complete the coup.

That’s because a move to Naples would reportedly come with the proviso Ounahi is loaned back to Angers for the remainder of the season. He’d then link up with Napoli in the summer.

That would be of great benefit to Angers who are rock bottom in Ligue 1 and need all the help they can get to avoid the drop.

However, Leeds offering a similar type of agreement (Ounahi returning on loan for six months) would do little to aid their own fight for survival in the Premier League this season.

As such, whether it’s in the transfer fee or player wages, Victor Orta and co. may have to dig deeper into their pockets than Napoli to complete the coup.

READ MORE: Leeds Utd joy as three top sources put £26.5m striker signing on the cusp; personal terms ‘already agreed’

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