Leeds United are reportedly inching closer to the signing of Sonny Perkins with the former West Ham youngster now expected to sign up at Elland Road.
Jesse Marsch’s side have enjoyed a superb transfer window so far. Having sailed so close to the relegation wind last time around, efforts have been doubled to ensure there is no repeat. To that end, Leeds have already brought in six new summer signings.
Just in the last week alone, Leeds have signed USA midfielder Tyler Adams and winger Luis Sinisterra from Feyenoord. Both deals cost in excess of £20m – and it takes their spending through the £95m barrier. The lavish spending though was entirely necesaary. Their squad lacked depth and quality last season, with a number of key players spending lenthy periods on the sidelines.
Excitement around the signings has brought a feel-good factor back to Leeds – though the capture of Sinisterra does come with a warning.
The sums of cash splashed out have also been underpinned by the sale of talismanic midfielder Kalvin Phillips. His £42m move to Manchester City comes close to half their outlays. And with progress made over Raphinha’s sale, Leeds may soon find themselves having made a summer profit.
However, Leeds are not done yet themselves and still want to bolster their squad with a big-name striker. Charles De Ketelaere appears right at the top of that wanted list, though a deal for the Belgian looks tough.
Sonny Perkins fee will go a tribunal
First up though, Leeds appear likely to win the race for Perkins. The teenage striker left West Ham at the end of his deal on June 30. And it was reported back in June how Leeds were keen to offer him a deal.
Now, Leeds are favourites for his signature with The Athletic’s Phil Hay suggesting he expects the Whites to seal his signing.
Tottenham and Aston Villa are both also keen – but it seems Leeds will win the race.
Talking on the latest edition of The Phil Hay Show, Hay said: “Perkins they [Leeds] really like and they wanted to move for earlier in the summer.”
While a free agent, Leeds will have to pay a development fee to West Ham were they to land him. And Hay added: “It will have to go to a tribunal after he decides his next club.
“It wouldn’t be a surprise if Perkins ended up here.”
Leeds also want second striker signing
Once a signing for Perkins is sealed, Leeds United are still chasing another addition to add to their ranks.
Indeed, with Patrick Bamford playing just 560 minutes of Premier League football last season, it is clear they need more depth.
Links to De Ketelaere are well documented and he remains the club’s No 1 focus.
Even so, the Daily Mail fully expects Leeds to make one more big transfer splash this summer if a move for De Ketelaere falls through.
The Mail writes: ‘Director of football Victor Orta is known to want a striker too with more experience… rather than just 18-year old Sonny Perkins who is a target after leaving West Ham.’
Signing cover and competition is entirely necessary for Leeds. And their entire summer, largely, depends on getting another goalscorer through the door. Indeed, all their good work will be undermined to an extent if they don’t sign one.
Still, there are plenty of days left in the summer window for the club to land one.
They deserve big plaudits for getting in the six players they have so far – and a striker really would be the icing on the cake.
United, meanwhile, have named their 26-man squad to leave for Australia on Sunday – with Raphinha left behind at Thorp Arch.
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