Leeds United reportedly wanted to sign Atalanta playmaker Ruslan Malinovskyi in the summer window, and recent reports have now claimed that the Serie A side are ready to sanction a loan exit for the Ukraine international. The Telegraph stated in September that Leeds explored the possibility of a £20million deal.
Malinovskyi, 27, had a hand in 16 goals during 44 appearances for Champions League side Atalanta last season. But this time around, he has only started six of his 14 matches. Voetbal 24 state that Club Brugge are interested, and Atalanta are ready to sanction a loan deal. Below are three reasons why Victor Orta simply has to go back in for Malinovskyi over the course of the next few weeks.
Leeds need a player alongside Klich
Failing to sign Rodrigo De Paul – among others – in the summer has seen Leeds leave a gap alongside Mateusz Klich. Rodrigo has been used in that role since joining, having failed to displace Patrick Bamford up front. He has been in and out of form in that position – scoring three times but going missing in other matches, Saturday’s loss to Tottenham for example.
Malinovskyi, a 32-time Ukraine international, would be the ideal addition to add competition and Champions League quality alongside the Pole.
January options are limited
Norwich City will hardly allow Todd Cantwell to leave during a promotion chase – with Emi Buendia also reportedly a target for Arsenal. De Paul has starred for Udinese, and that has attracted interest from the likes of Juventus and Inter Milan. Those three have been linked with Leeds – while Leeds would surely prove more tantalising to Malinovskyi than a move to Belgium.
Loan-to-buy deal ideal business
While January can prove to be tricky for incoming signings, sometimes clubs panic buy and end up purchasing players that end up flopping – especially in the Premier League. But it also opens up the possibility of a loan deal rather than Atalanta expecting Leeds to sign Malinovskyi permanently. The report states that Atalanta are ready to help Brugge sign him on loan.
Landing Malinovskyi on a loan-to-buy deal completely eliminates the risk in case the potential addition of the Ukraine ace struggles at Elland Road under Marcelo Bielsa. If he does fail, he can simply return to Atalanta. A no-brainer, if such an option emerges.