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Leeds given hope in pursuit of Bielsa favourite as new price emerges

Reports claim Leeds United are hopeful of landing Udinese forward Rodrigo De Paul for considerably less than they were quoted last summer.

Marcelo Bielsa will look to build on the Whites’ successful return to the Premier League next term. Having been out of the spotlight for 16 years, they sit 11th in the table with 47 points from 34 games played. Any thoughts of relegation evaporated weeks ago and the Elland Road outfit will now be targeting a top-10 finish.

They have four games left to achieve that aim and next welcome Tottenham to West Yorkshire on Saturday. Attention will then turn to the summer transfer window and ways in which to help avoid second-season syndrome.

De Paul has long been on the club’s radar. But a £37m price tag was put on his head last summer, meaning Bielsa’s hopes were dashed.

However, Football Insider are suggesting that the Italian outfit are now willing to listen to offers below that valuation. That will alert the Leeds money men as a fee of £30m has been mooted for the 26-year-old.

It remains to be seen if the Whites would entertain doing business at that level. But he remains a favourite of Bielsa who may push the Leeds hierarchy to try and get him on board before next season.

Big-hitters to challenge for De Paul

It may not be just the financial aspect that Leeds have to battle with in the off-season. Other clubs have also been credited with an interest.

Liverpool have been heavily linked over the past few months. Georginio Wijnaldum looks set to leave Anfield and Jurgen Klopp will be seeking a replacement.

The fee would not be an issue for the Reds but there is also interest from Italy. Juventus and Inter Milan have been mentioned in connection with the Argentina international.

The versatile midfielder has enjoyed another outstanding season for I Friulani. He has scored eight goals and assisted nine from 34 appearances in all competitions and is rated highly in Serie A.

And back in March, Udinese boss Luca Gotti confessed that it would be no surprise if he did look to move on.

“He is mentally so strong as he goes on international duty with Argentina,” he told DAZN. “He shares a locker room with players from Barcelona, Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain. Yet every time he comes back here to Udine and works harder than anyone.

“You couldn’t blame him for being tempted (by a move away).”

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