By Richard Parks
Leeds United recruitment chief Victor Orta has told a fans forum today (Monday) that the club is evaluating whether to agree a permanent deal with Hamburg for loanee striker Pierre Michel-Lasogga.
Speaking to the online forum uploaded on to the club’s app, the Elland Road director of football revealed for the first time that there is a buy-out clause inserted in the season-long loan agreement that took the German to Leeds last August.
Orta stressed that Leeds would wait until the end of the season before deciding whether to try to convert Lasogga’s loan into a permanent transfer.
Nevertheless, the Spaniard has been impressed by Lasogga’s recent form as he explained how deeper analysis of his track record demonstrates his value beyond his record of 10 league goals from 24 appearances.
“Pierre is showing his quality. I never doubt about him because he’s a quality, top player. He showed it in the best championship in the world like the Bundesliga,” said Orta, as quoted by Leeds Live.
“And now, like the chairman said, he is established, he know more the league, he know more the team-mates, he start to play with confidence.
“He has the best rate of shots at goal in all the leagues, near the best rate of minutes per goal in all the leagues, but it’s true it’s a privilege that he play of Championship and is difficult with the situation.
“Former club Hamburg put a buy-out clause, but it’s a long season. He has a situation of contract that he already has one year more of contract in Hamburg.
“I think it is a situation we can discuss in certain and can be a possibility with our realistic situation, but is true that with his quality we are obviously evaluating this possibility.”
Football Insider verdict:
Orta is not ruling out signing Lasogga permanently, while not suggesting it is a strong possibility, either. Given the German’s pedigree and the fact he cost Hamburg £8.5million in 2014, it is safe to assume his release clause is around that figure, even though he is out of contract next summer. For Leeds to pay mega millions, they will need to see evidence that the forward can score 20 league goals next season. Should his current scoring run be extended and he ends this campaign with 15-plus in the league, talks over a deal are likely to take place.
In other Leeds United news, the club have agreed the terms of an £8.5million deal, with the first payment scheduled for the summer.