Noel Whelan has tipped Leeds United to seal a £10million late-window swoop for Liverpool winger Ryan Kent that would echo their capture of Patrick Bamford 12 months ago.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-United striker is convinced that Marcelo Bielsa can land Kent in the final 10 days of the window in a big-money permanent deal.
Leeds registered their interest in the 22-year-old winger at the start of the summer as they explored the possibility of a loan deal for a player who is also firmly on the radar of his 2018-19 loan club Rangers.
Jurgen Klopp insisted at the weekend that Liverpool will not loan out Kent again and they are now only open to permanent offers for their academy product.
Whelan believes the versatile winger is someone who Leeds boss Bielsa will regard as a potentially key addition to his squad.
“Ryan Kent is available now for £10million, not for loan, and I can see Bielsa signing him, he’s one he would want,” Whelan told Football Insider. “Whether we have the funds to get him remains to be seen.
“But that’s why Bielsa was watching him in the Bradford-Liverpool [pre-season friendly] match. I’m sure he would have been there [at Oakwell] to speak to Klopp and get a relationship going with Liverpool over a deal.
“We saw last summer with the Patrick Bamford signing (from Middlesbrough for £7million) how Leeds are willing to bide their time, get rid of the players they don’t want and spend big money for the one they do.
“We could have a Bamford-style scenario with Kent. He is certainly one who would fit into the Leeds style of play, as he is aggressive, fast, two-footed, direct and can create and score goals.”
In other Leeds United news, it can be REVEALED that a club are tabling £2m-a-year United player offer as talks advance.