Leeds Utd increasingly keen on World Cup quarter-finalist after being quoted less than £10m for attacking midfielder

Yahia Attiyat Allahcelebrating with Morocco teammate Abdelhamid Sabiri Credit: Alamy
Yahia Attiyat Allahcelebrating with Morocco teammate Abdelhamid Sabiri Credit: Alamy

Leeds United are one of three Premier League clubs keeping a close eye on Morocco and Sampdoria star Abdelhamid Sabiri, according to a report.

Sabiri is currently enjoying his country’s run to the quarter-finals of the World Cup. He has played in all four of their matches in Qatar so far, although only once has he been chosen as a starter. Most recently, he scored the first penalty in the shootout his side won against Spain to progress to the last eight.

The attacking midfielder has come a long way since his injury-hit two-year spell at Huddersfield Town. He only made 13 appearances for the former Premier League club during two seasons in West Yorkshire.

Now with Sampdoria after spells with Paderborn and Ascoli in between, Sabiri could end up back in West Yorkshire by joining Leeds United.

According to SampNews24, Leeds “like him very much”, although they are simply one of three Premier League clubs keen on giving him a second chance. It is not clear who the other two are.

There are other contenders abroad, including Fiorentina. Indeed, La Viola are currently in “pole position” to give him a different platform in Serie A.

Alternatively, Sabiri could be targeted by Real Betis or another, anonymous Spanish side, or French outfit, Lyon.

To win the race for the 26-year-old, Leeds would have to make a bid above €10million (£8.6million). It would seem to be a reasonable price for a player whose contract with Sampdoria is due to last until 2025.

The Genoa-based side would be making a tenfold profit on what they paid Ascoli for him, too.

Sabiri has made 10 starts and one substitute appearance in Serie A so far this season, scoring once in the league. In addition, he has one goal and one assist from two Coppa Italia appearances in 2022-23.

He has featured in a number of different positions in recent months. Most commonly an attacking midfielder, he has also played in a slightly deeper central role. There have also been a couple of outings in a wider position.

Sabiri could get second chance in Premier League

Thanks to his versatility, he could be of use to Leeds. They will need to strengthen in central midfield if Adam Forshaw and Mateusz Klich leave in 2023. If not, only having Tyler Adams and Marc Roca will not give them enough depth.

But Sabiri might be more suitable as a number 10, as competition for the likes of Brenden Aaronson. Now that Rodrigo Moreno is playing further forward as a striker, there might be a need for additional depth in the role he used to be deployed in.

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Sabiri could provide the solution – and there is little need to worry about the issues that prevented him making an impact for Huddersfield. He has only missed four matches through injury this season and recovered in time to reach the World Cup.

Now a more mature player too, it would be interesting to see how he would get on at Elland Road.

Leeds have some work to do if they are to win the race, though. Fiorentina, as stated, are winning the race for him at present.

They are even preparing a cash-plus-player deal that will give Sampdoria their choice of three midfielders in return. Hence, Fiorentina’s proposal might appeal.

That said, it would cause Sampdoria to strengthen a domestic rival. With that in mind, they might be listening to offers from abroad, which Leeds could provide.

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