Leeds United have an obligation to sign Jean-Kevin Augustin in the summer for a further £18million but the transfer is not definite if they go up, Football Insider has learned.
United announced in late January they had signed the French striker on an initial loan but have not formally corroborated widespread reports the deal will become permanent if they are promoted to the Premier League.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider that the club have some room for manoeuvre if the player is reluctant to sign on a full-time basis.
A permanent deal would require the blessing and sign-off of Augustin himself and that is not guaranteed after his lack of playing time so far.
The high-profile forward has made just three appearances for the Whites since signing and had just 48 minutes of action in the nine matches played by the club since he joined.
He has failed to make the matchday squad for the last three Leeds matches due to a hamstring injury.
There is no suggestion at this stage that Augustin is getting cold feet on a permanent move, or that Marcelo Bielsa may not be as keen as he was after seeing the player at close quarters over the last six weeks.
Leeds recruited Augustin from RB Leipzig after his season-long loan to Monaco was cancelled at the halfway point.
He was previously a first choice at Leipzig, where his record of 20 goals from 67 appearances is a creditable one.
However, ex-Leeds striker Noel Whelan has already suggested to Football Insider it would be a mistake for the club to convert Augustin’s loan into a massive-money permanent transfer.
“I think it would be a big risk signing him,” Whelan said. “I do not think there is any point. He is not going to contribute anything this year, that is for sure.
“Despite what people may think, that he is a £40million player, to get that kind of a price tag you have got to be fit and be banging in 25 goals a season, three on the bounce.
“He is not going to do that. He is not going to do it next year in the Premier League, that would be too much for him. One game in eight months he has played.
“We need more strikers, probably three. If he is going to be signed it cannot be on the back of what he has done so far because he has done nothing.”
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