Weston McKennie: Leeds a small step from securing signing as Fabrizio Romano clarifies Chelsea, Tottenham hijack talk
Leeds United have seen an opening offer for Weston McKennie rejected by Juventus – but two journalists with the inside track on the deal insist all is of course for the player to seal a move to Elland Road.
The Whites are looking to bolster their midfield having recently waved farewell to Mateusz Klich. The popular Pole departed Elland Road for a new chapter of his career with DC United. But his exit leaves the Whites with a fairly-sizeable gap to fill.
Indeed, despite his inactivity costing Klich a place in the World Cup squad, he had featured in every Premier League for Leeds up until his departure.
And with Leeds having already signed Maximilian Wober to strengthen defence and Georginio Rutter in attack, there remains room to sign a new midfielder too if the price was right.
Now it seems Leeds are honing in on Juventus star McKennie. The Serie A side have recently been hammered with a 15-point deduction for transfer irregularities. As a result, they will almost certainly miss out on European football next season.
In order to make up for that expected monetary shortfall, they are preparing to offload some big names.
The likes of Dusan Vlahovic has been linked with Manchester United for example. However, it seems that McKennie will be the first one out the door with Juventus circulating his name to several Premier League sides.
And it seems Leeds United are the side nearest to his signing.
Having made initial contact with McKennie, reports on Wednesday revealed Leeds have agreed personal terms with the player.
And with both Jesse Marsch and Tyler Adams convincing McKennie over the move, Leeds have good reason to feel optimistic.
Leeds just shy of matching Juventus price for Weston McKennie
To that end, talks over reaching an agreement over the fee with Juventus were the next hurdle to overcome.
Now, according to Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio, Leeds have seen an opening offer for McKennie fall short.
He claims Leeds have tabled an opening £24.6m (€28m) offer to Juventus, which has been rejected. He claims the Bianconeri are seeking a figure closer to £30.8m (€35m) which means Leeds are currently just £6m short.
However, Di Marzio insists there is a confidence from the Leeds end that a deal can soon be agreed.
One potential obstacle that was facing Leeds, however, was the prospect of another side hijacking the deal.
To that end, both Chelsea, Tottenham and Aston Villa are also reportedly considering moves.
Chelsea and Tottenham yet to make move
Providing an update on the saga, Fabrizio Romano has seemingly ruled two of those sides out of the equation.
“There’s an agreement between McKennie and Leeds on the contract and personal terms,” he told Caught Offside. “But Leeds and Juventus are still discussing so it’s not a done deal yet.”
Discussing a potential move to London instead, Romano added: “Chelsea and Spurs were not negotiating for McKennie in January, let’s see what’s going to happen because it’s still Leeds leading now.”
Leeds will, therefore, continue talks with Juventus over securing his signing. The Whites could possibly look to make up the shortfall in a number of bonuses and add-ons.
However, Leeds will continue to tread with caution and will not want to pay more than they feel McKennie is worth.
Indeed, Leeds oracle Phil Hay has stated in his report for The Athletic on Thursday morning that the Whites are willing to walk away over the fee.
Should he sign, however, his arrival would complete an excellent window for Leeds. And the USA star will compete with Adams and Marc Roca for a role in the Whites engine room.
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