By Richard Parks
Leeds United are in advanced talks to sign Carpi striker Jerry Mbakogu as the two clubs thrash out the terms of the deal, according to a report.
The Yorkshire Evening Post claim that United have reignited their pursuit of Mbakogu, 25, after initiating negotiations in January with a view to completing a transfer in the summer.
It is said that Leeds want the signing of the centre-forward in the bag but have held off on finalising a deal while he secures an Italian passport and qualifies for a work permit.
Mbakogu has scored eight goals in 23 appearances this season for the Serie B outfit and has not played since mid-March due to injury.
In total, the Nigerian has scored 37 goals in 128 Carpi matches as well as supplied 22 assists.
Football Insider verdict:
On the face of it, a fee of £4million is a very hefty one by Leeds’ standards. Indeed, it would be the most they have paid for a striker since their Premier League glory days when they forked out £11million to sign Robbie Fowler from Liverpool in November 2001. United spent big, by their standards, when they paid £4.5million for Adam Forshaw from Middlesbrough in the January window. But at least he is a proven Championship performer, while Mbakogu would be an unknown quantity whose career has been spent in the Italian lower leagues. Leeds fans are craving a centre-forward proven in the Championship and able to hit the ground running after getting their fingers burned with the captures last summer of Pierre-Michel Lasogga, Caleb Ekuban and Jay-Roy Grot. Mbakogu has a creditable scoring record and is approaching his peak years, but he will have much to prove when he arrives at Elland Road.