Leeds transfer latest: Manager blown away by pace and athleticism of this enforcer
By Harry Sykes
Rotherham manager Paul Warne has revealed that he is keen on signing Toumani Diagouraga because of the Leeds midfielder’s athletic attributes.
The interim Millers boss gave some detail on why he wants to prise the 29-year-old enforcer from Elland Road this month.
Diagouraga has been given the cold shoulder by Garry Monk since he took over at Leeds and has not figured in a matchday squad since the team’s opening-day defeat to QPR.
Monk admitted earlier this week that he is “hopeful” Diagouraga will find a new club this month as he is not in the first-team reckoning for the promotion hopefuls.
Warne confirmed his interest in a deal that would take the central midfielder back to the club where he had a spell in 2007.
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“There is a possibility in that and I really like him as a player,” said the Rotherham boss, as quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post. “But I wouldn’t speak about me bringing him back here because while he is a Leeds player, I just think it is disrespectful.
“I do really like him. But I could sit here and name twenty central midfielders that I like.
“But it is no surprise that we are being linked to him, as I have been saying I want my players to have pace and athleticism and he’s comfortable on the ball and a very good player.
“I understand why that link has been made. But I am respectful and that’s as much as I can say.”
Diagouraga joined Leeds from Brentford in the winter window 12 months ago and was a regular under Steve Evans in the second half of last season.
But he has slipped well down the pecking order this season, following the arrivals of Liam Bridcutt and Eunan O’Kane from Premier League clubs, and the emergence of academy products Ronaldo Vieira and Kalvin Phillips.
It remains to be seen whether Diagouraga would be interested in joining Rotherham, who are bottom of the Championship and a massive 12 points from the safety zone of 21st placed Burton.
Football Insider verdict:
Diagouraga’s days at Leeds are well and truly numbered under Monk. However, he has shown in the Championship with both Brentford and the Whites last season that he is too good to drop down to League One at this stage in his career. Rotherham currently look like they need a miracle to stay in the second tier this season and Diagouraga is not the player to save them. However, he is much better than a club heading for the third tier and he should wait to see if any other clubs are interested.
In other Leeds transfer news, Monk has made a shock transfer revelation after meeting with new owner Andrea Radrizzani.