Leeds United Set For Huge Transfer Battle In January

Leeds United are set for a battle to keep attacker Wilfried Gnonto once the transfer window reopens in January, according to various reports in Italy.

The 19-year-old was subject to much speculation surrounding his future over the summer, with Premier League outfit Everton keen on acquiring his services. It was reported at the time that the teenager had gone on strike in order to force through a move, but the relegated side held firm and he remained at Elland Road.

After seemingly reaching an agreement, Gnonto returned to the squad at the end of August, scoring in the 4-3 win over Ipswich Town, but an ankle injury at the end of September saw him miss four Championship fixtures. With Leeds’ form improving dramatically in his absence, the Italian international has struggled to nail down a regular place in Daniel Farke’s team since recovering and he was introduced as a late substitute in the 1-0 win over league leaders Leicester City last night.

According to Calciomercatothe former FC Zurich winger has instructed his agent to find him a new club in the New Year, with Lazio touted as a potential destination.

The Serie A club are big admirers of the player, although Leeds have put a valuation of €25 million on his head. Continuing, the report claims that the two parties have held initial discussions, but Lazio will return in the coming weeks to see if that price can be negotiated.

Tuttomercatoweb state that the Yorkshire side have no intention of budging in their stance though, which could see the Biancocelesti walk away from the deal.

Leeds are keen to keep hold of the player as they tentatively plan for a return to the Premier League, but every player has his price and there is likely to be constant speculation throughout the next few months.

Writer’s View

Gnonto made no secret of his desire to leave throughout the summer, and his recent struggles to obtain a regular starting spot are unlikely to have changed his mind. However, Daniel Farke knows that he will need to keep his squad together in order to return to the top tier at the first time of asking and will be once again reluctant to sanction a sale.

Lazio may be able to offer Champions League football should they emerge from their group this side of Christmas, but Leeds are entitled to hold their nerve and demand the fee they feel they should be receiving for a player who is already a regular international with the current European champions.

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