Victor Orta has confirmed and discussed five attacking midfielders that Leeds United considered signing this summer in an interview with the Yorkshire Evening Post, including Udinese’s Rodrigo De Paul and Rangers ace Ryan Kent.
The Spanish transfer chief stated that Leeds could not meet De Paul’s asking price, while Rangers were desperate to keep Kent. Norwich’s Todd Cantwell, Derby’s Louie Sibley and Michael Cuisance – who failed a medical – were also mentioned.
On £20m-rated (YEP) Cuisance, and the new Marseille signing’s surprise medical failure, Orta expressed his disappointment, while confirming he had analysed both Sibley and Cantwell – who could still be signed before Friday.
“We analyse all and at the end if things happen, no agreement. These kinds of things happen. It’s part of the market. It’s disappointing but it’s part of the process,” Orta said, on Cuisance.
“We know them [Sibley and Cantwell] really well, their clubs were our rivals, we analysed [Cantwell] in the Premier League. But it’s like a lot of players we’ve analysed. We have information and then we need to think about the possibility,” he added.
“I think [Kent’s] club doesn’t want to sell him,” Orta continued. “We tried and we believe clearly Glasgow Rangers doesn’t want the player to leave. It was never their plan to put Kent in the market.
“[De Paul] was one player we analysed but, in the end, the valuation of his club was at a level that was difficult for Leeds to reach. Not just for Leeds but a lot of clubs because, in the end, nobody took him.”
Leeds certainly enjoyed an excellent window but the gap in attacking midfield alongside Mateusz Klich remains, with Pablo Hernandez still injured. Rodrigo and Tyler Roberts have been used, but neither have firmly grasped the position.
Though a move for Cantwell or Sibley looks unlikely before the end of the domestic deadline, Orta is expected to continue working behind the scenes with the January window just two and a half months away.
Perhaps, then, we could see De Paul, Kent, Sibley or Cantwell in a Leeds shirt.