After 16 years in the doldrums, those in Leeds could be forgiven for taking a moment to dream. Tuesday, a few days after the promotion to the top flight was confirmed, owner Andrea Radrizzani was asked about some big names.
“(Zlatan) Ibrahimovic will certainly be difficult,” he told Sky Sports Italy. “We tried to sign him in January, but he chose to go to Milan and the deal disappeared. “Now I think it is too late, the intensity of English football is different.
“(Edinson) Cavani could help with his physicality and adapt here, but I never talked to him about the coach,” added Radrizzani.
It is unlikely that Leeds United will catch Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the upcoming transfer window
Edinson Cavani was also mentioned, but has not been discussed with Marcelo Bielsa
Both were mentioned by owner Andrea Radrizzani on Tuesday in an interview in Italy
“That said, we definitely thought of him and we’ll see, since he’s still available for a free transfer.”
Both are blockbuster targets, the kind of names Leeds fans had imagined in a white shirt as they walked around in League One.
But neither is likely to be particularly realistic – with Cavani the more appropriate of the two.
Manager Marcelo Bielsa demands intensity from his players, and 33-year-old Uruguayan and his 38-year-old former PSG teammate may not have the legs to carry out his playing style.
Bielsa demands intensity from his players and Leeds’ goals will reflect his tactical approach
Bielsa’s contract in Leeds is almost over, but after leading them back to the Premier League, he is expected to extend his deal. He plans to talk to the club after the last game against Charlton about an extension.
There would be little fan base support for anyone else replacing him, given his incredible popularity in the city. A street was named after him on Wednesday morning.
Football director Victor Orta seemed to hint that it would be easy enough in an interview with El Larguero on Tuesday night.
He said: ‘Are we going to see Bielsa on the bench for Leeds in the Premier League? Give me a week to celebrate, I think everything will be calm. ‘
Football director Victor Orta has to make a new deal for Bielsa and then achieve his goals
Assuming everything stays the same and Bielsa stays, Leeds will definitely shop in a market other than Ibrahimovic and Cavani.
Orta will be the key to that recruitment strategy. He collects lists of goals for the Bielsa squad, then the Argentinian nods towards a particular name Leeds should pursue after doing his own analysis.
When Leeds went after Daniel James in January 2019, the desktop of Bielsa’s laptop was filled with videos of the now Manchester United man.
Without Bielsa’s approval, Leeds will not move for a player. It is as simple as that.
Bielsa always has the final say on autograph sessions after conducting his own analysis of potential arrivals
Leeds is expected to attempt to catch about four to five players to complete the existing squad.
Brentford’s missed opportunity to climb into the top two over the weekend could be a major boost for Leeds, who are expected to look to the cream of the Championship.
As Sportsmail reported Wednesday morning, they are looking for the race for Said Benrahma – also sought after by Chelsea – when the bees miss a spot on the top flight.
They also hope to catch Joe Geldhart, the Wigan youngster compared to Wayne Rooney, and appear to have stolen a march on Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham and Celtic.
Said Benrahma would be a target for Leeds if Brentford is not promoted to the top flight
The future of Ben White – who has started every game in the championship – is in high demand, and parent club Brighton has made it clear they want him back in the summer.
Liverpool have also followed him extensively, but it looks like Leeds will at least have talks over his signing.
“Ben will be in great demand,” said CEO Angus Kinnear.
“It’s one of the risks of the kind of deal we closed. I know supporters will wonder why there was no option to buy it, but Brighton wasn’t prepared to.
“It was whether to take the player without an option or not at all. We have clearly made the right decision and we have some conversations with Brighton about where they see his future.
Loan Ben White (right) and his future are a serious question for Leeds since he has played
“They value him very highly and other clubs value him very highly.
“We have the advantage that Ben loves the club and that he likes to play for the club.
“He loves his teammates and knows he gets playing time under Marcelo, so we have a little advantage. Eventually we will fight with some big names for his signature. ‘
If White, who has been loaned after two seasons, does not return, Leeds needs a starting center-back. A major injury to Gaetano Berardi on Sunday means that they will need another player in that position anyway.
Lucas Martinez Quarta from River Plate is someone they looked at in that position.
Jack Harrison’s lease is extended for a third season after his impressive spell
When it comes to lanese, Jack Harrison has agreed to extend his Manchester City temporary deal with one more season at Leeds to retain the right to buy it next summer.
And they should give Illan Meslier, who was covered up in the run-up and impressed during his loan from Lorient, a steady deal in the coming days.
A first-choice goalkeeper is probably also a necessity, with Kiko Casilla not impressing since his move from Real Madrid. Angus Gunn from Southampton has been brought up.
Elsewhere, Leeds knows they should pursue options to cover Pablo Hernandez. The Spaniard was sensational for the whites this season, but at the age of 35, his fitness has been a problem since the restart.
Although he played at Derby for 90 minutes, Leeds wants to have alternatives. They love Emi Buendia – who impressed Norwich – and reports in South America that Thiago Almada was a real option.
Leeds like Norwich midfielder Emi Buendia and he could be a target for the summer window
The 19-year-old Velez Sarsfield midfielder is considered a real gem for the future, and Leeds would do well to beat some of the other clubs that circle him.
However, he was quoted on Wednesday by Argentinian outlet TYC Sports and said: ‘I would like to be directed by Bielsa’.
Leeds also missed a solid left back all season and just like Yasser Larouci in Liverpool. The fullback got his debut against Everton in the FA Cup, but the Reds are willing to let him go for the right fee.
Player decisions must therefore be made clearly after Wednesday’s last game against Charlton. Signatures must be made quickly.
Still, that dream duo of Ibrahimovic and Cavani may not be there. Hopefully Premier League football is enough for the trusty Elland Road.
Leeds also love Liverpool defender Yasser Larouci, who is likely to leave Anfield