Good Morning. It's Thursday 20th December, and here are the latest headlines from Elland Road...
Bielsa gushes over Raphinha as contract talks continue
During a recent interview, Marcelo Bielsa proudly gushed over Raphinha, insisting the Brazilian maestro was physically and technically the best player at Elland Road, and his talents have attracted the best clubs in the World. These encomiastical comments come as the Leeds Utd hierarchy lock horns with Raphinha's agent Deco, about tying their prized asset down to new and improved terms.
Currently, the 25yo has 18 months left on his contract. Leeds want to be in a position of power if and when the time comes to part with their superstar winger. If they can persuade Raphinha to commit, and he has a good World Cup this December, his valuation could go through the roof. According to Bielsa...
I think it's a great decision. Raphinha is the best player in the team in all the senses, physically he's the best, technically he's at the level of the best and the interpretation he has of the game is very good, very wise. He is within the group of such a powerful nation of Brazil, he shines in the Premier League and he has the attention of all the big clubs in the world. All of those things is something you guys (journalists) know just as much as me, nothing I'm saying is new. As a result, the decision of the club can only be valued.
Phil Hay, The Athletic's Leeds writer, says contract talks have been progressing for several weeks, and both parties are confident that a deal can be reached.
Could JKA dispute affect any Aaronson deal
Leeds pursuit of USA International midfielder Brenden Aaronson could be hampered by the ongoing dispute with RB Leipzig, over former player Jean Kevin Augustin. The German outfit allege Leeds were under obligation to buy the former French U21 forward, though Leeds are vehemently fighting these allegations. The matter is set to be decided at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in March. Augustine currently plays in the Championnat National 2 (the 4th level of French football) with Nantes II, playing four times in the last nine months.
RB Leipzig are the sister club of Red Bull Salzburg. Both are owned under the Red Bull umbrella. Whilst Leeds are confident that their spat with Leipzig will not affect their relationship with the Austrian giants, Aaronson has been linked with a host of European clubs, all desperate for his signature.
Leeds linked to 6m teen sensation
According to the Daily Mail, Leeds have been strongly linked with Aberdeen's teenage sensation Calvin Ramsay. The young right back has forced his way into the Dons starting line up this season, creating quite a stir from the Premier League. Scouts from Leeds, Leicester, Manchester United, Southampton and Spurs all watched the 18yo in action on Tuesday night against Rangers.
Aberdeen value Ramsay at 6m, and have also indicated that they would want to take their protégé back on loan. Leeds have continually to be linked with various right backs recently. Whilst Leeds may be looking for a long term successor for Ayling, many assumed the role would be inherited by Cody Drameh, who has recently gone out on loan to Cardiff, against the wishes of Leeds Utd.