Leeds United may not have it all their own in the pursuit of PSG striker Arnaud Kalimuendo amid claims the player is also being offered to a Serie A giant and a rival Premier League side are also keen.
The Whites have made an excellent start to the summer transfer window, providing the Premier League’s most active club. Indeed, they have already brought in six new signings, spending over £94m in the process. Incredibly, they are currently on course to turn over a transfer profit with the sales of Kalvin Phillips and Raphinha due to net Leeds an initial £97m.
However, Leeds United are not finished themselves on the transfer front and still want a new striker signing. Indeed, reports on Sunday suggested a deal to bring in Sonny Perkins from West Ham was closing in.
The teenage striker, though, is likely to be seen as a long-term investment and squad addition primarily for the forthcoming season. As such, a hefty investment on another striker looks to be on the cards.
To that end, Leeds are strongly being linked with Charles De Ketelaere. However, that bid appears to be grinding to a halt with AC Milan edging towards his signature from him. Given Milan’s ability to offer Champions League football, the Serie A champions always held the upper hand.
As a result, Leeds are reportedly turning their attention back towards PSG frontman Kalimuendo. The striker is reportedly available this summer, having spent the last two seasons on loan with Lens.
During his time with the Ligue 1 side, he scored 21 goals in 60 appearances, weighing in with six assists. That’s a goal involvement every 2.2 games, a tidy figure for a star who is still only 20.
Italian suitors also fancy Arnaud Kalimuendo
Now L’Equipe reports Leeds have seen an opening £17m offer fall short. However, hope remains with PSG reportedly willing to sell for a fee of around £21m.
That £4m shortfall should not be too difficult for Leeds to make up.
However, it seems Leeds United are not alone in their pursuit for Kalimuendo.
L’Equipe also reports that Inter Milan are considering an approach for the striker. To that end, PSG are chasing a deal for Inter defender Milan Skriniar and the report claims Kalimuendo could be used as a bargaining chip in negotiations.
Furthermore, Newcastle United are also reportedly keen. Eddie Howe’s side are chasing a new striker themselves this summer, having seen a pursuit of Hugo Ekitike slammed shut. As a result, they may yet launch a counter offer to rival Leeds of their own.
Striker tipped for the top
It’s easy to see why Kalimuendo is a man in demand. At just 20 years of age, he has already shown enormous promise. And while £21m is a hefty investment, in this day and age it could represent something of a bargain.
Furthermore, he has time on his side to become even better.
Indeed, having represented France at U16s, U17s, U18s and now U21s level, the hope is that he can ultimately progress to the full les Bleus national side.
His coach at Lens also can see something special in the player and predicts him to get even better.
“Arnaud Kalimuendo has now played 30 more games. This allows him to develop in every aspect,” Lens boss Franck Haise told Ligue 1’s official website.
“The Kali in a year or five years will be another player. Every minute, every goal scored or not scored brings him things. He’s progressed well during these two seasons in Lens.”
Were the player to move to the Premier League, a 10-goal return in his first season would only see that value increase.
As such, it’s easy to see why Leeds are keen, though they may need to act fast if they are to secure his signature.
Meanwhile, Leeds’ patience over the sale of Raphinha appears to have paid off with Barcelona relenting to their demands and a deal now close.