Leeds United Suffer Blow In Pursuit Of Long Term Target Amid Arsenal Interest: What’s Next For Bielsa?

A blistering start to the 2018-19 season ended in yet another heartbreak for Leeds United as they suffered a shocking defeat to Derby County in the playoffs. Although Leeds have managed to retain the services of Marcelo Bielsa for the upcoming campaign, their failure to script a top-flight return have put the Whites in the backfoot while chasing their long-term transfer targets.

According to Maximiliano Grillo, a journalist with TNT Sports, Arsenal are set to raid the South American market to rope in new names following the Europa League final humiliation against Chelsea. Nahitan Nández of Boca Juniors is in their wishlist which has subsequently handed a significant blow to Bielsa in pursuit of the Uruguayan.

The Whites reportedly tabled a bid for the 23-year-old midfielder (as claimed by Tuttomercatoweb) back in March, but interest from AS Roma made things complicated for the Yorkshire giants. The Giallorossi were plotting a swap deal for Nandez with their wide forward Diego Perotti allowing the Argentine to return to his boyhood club after years of success in Spain and Italy.

Both Arsenal and Roma are rated as the European heavyweights despite a disappointing season, therefore, lead the chase over Leeds to acquire the player this summer. Nandez earned applauds for his display in last year’s World Cup event. Interest in him would be high in the upcoming Copa America contest, and a decent spell would complicate things furthermore regarding a potential switch to Elland Road.

Leeds require serious reinforcements having lost their momentum midway through the season. Bielsa banked on the same set of names due to a lack of depth which, however, resulted in fatigue and loss of form during the decisive months of their campaign. The exit of Samuel Saiz left a hole in the middle of the park and Mateusz Klich, who was promising early on, lacked enough support centrally to dictate the show throughout.

Nandez, meanwhile, is known for his ability to operate box-to-box, and also as a deep-lying playmaker who marshalls the backline if the situation demands. He is also useful down the right midfield, and his physicality along with strong tackling traits would boost an outfit to deliver a dominating display over their opponents.

As things stand, the promotion misfortune seems to have changed a lot of equations. But the fans must not lose the hope as long as Bielsa is there in the dugout who is capable of pulling off a miracle in this transfer window.

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Pratyay Maitra

A sports enthusiast in his mid-twenties who reads, breathes, as well as dreams (mostly) about football and attempts to share his views with the fanatics by jotting it down. Prefers to learn through extensive interaction, communication and exploration. So don't be in a quandary and SHOOT.

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