Leeds have reportedly entered into talks to sign highly-rated Metz playmaker Farid Boulaya this summer.
Trusted French source Mohamed Toubache-TER claims that Leeds, as well as a club from Spain and one from Italy, are chasing the Algeria international. The report states that Marcelo Bielsa’s men can land the attacking midfielder for around €4.5million, as he only has a year remaining on his contract.
The 28-year-old stated earlier in the summer that he wanted to join a club playing in Europe.
Despite the fact that Leeds cannot offer him that, the report adds that Victor Orta can still convince Boulaya to head to Elland Road.
The creative midfielder scored six goals and added eight assists in 33 Ligue 1 appearances last season. Those sort of statistics, accompanied by the low fee, could represent a bargain deal for Orta and Leeds.
Bielsa has instructed Orta to try and fund him a new No.10 this summer. So far, Leeds have been linked with the likes of Club Bruges’ Noa and Man Utd’s Dan James. That is after they missed out on a deal for Rodrigo de Paul, who has joined Atletico Madrid instead.
Boulaya mainly plays in a role behind the striker, but is also comfortably occupying both wings. That sort of versatility is exactly what Bielsa wants from his players.
At this stage, it’s unclear how far along the talks are, but Leeds could be set to land an absolute bargain.
Newcastle star no longer on Leeds radar
Meanwhile, Freddie Woodman is no longer under consideration by Leeds United as their goalkeeper shortlist has narrowed down to two, according to a report.
Leeds have allowed Kiko Casilla to depart, which means they need a new backup for Illan Meslier. The young Frenchman did relatively well in his debut Premier League season, so is unlikely to be dislodged. More depth is still required, though, for the occasions on which he will not play.
A recent report listed Woodman as one of three options for Leeds. The 24-year-old has spent the past two seasons on loan at Swansea City from Newcastle United. He made 88 Championship appearances in that time.
A World Cup winner with England at under-20 level in 2017, Woodman has not followed the path some would have expected. Opportunities at parent club Newcastle have been limited due to the form of Martin Dubravka and Karl Darlow.
Woodman’s two-year stint in the Championship has helped him get back on track, but he is still unlikely to make it back at Newcastle. Therefore, he may need to consider a move away.
Keeper choice down to two
That will not be to Leeds, though. According to Football Insider, he only wants to move somewhere to be first choice, which Leeds cannot guarantee. With that in mind, they have pulled out of the race to sign him.
As a result, the two names left on their shortlist are Dani Cardenas of Levante and Kristoffer Klaesson of Valerenga.
Neither player would be as expensive as Woodman, but they do not have the same level of first-team experience. As with any transfer, there would be some element of risk with either deal. But because they would arrive as a backup, there may not be too much pressure.