Leeds win four-horse race for 20-year-old attacker - report
By Alex Stevens
Leeds have won a four-horse race to sign attacker Alfonso Pedraza, according to a report.
The Mirror transfer blog (Monday, 6.45pm) claim the Yorkshire giants have beaten off competition from Newcastle, Real Sociedad and Sporting Gijon to land the Villarreal winger.
It is said that Pedraza, 20, is set to put pen to paper on a contract that will help him play a major role in Leeds’ bid to return to the Premier League after 13 years in the lower divisions.
Garry Monk reiterated after Sunday’s FA Cup humiliation at the hands of non-league Sutton United that he wanted reinforcements to his squad before the Tuesday night transfer deadline.
The manager appears to have now got his wish of at least one new arrival as Pedraza is poised to become the first new signing this month.
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Pablo Hernandez signed a permanent contract earlier in the window but the playmaker had already spent the first half of the campaign at Elland Road on loan.
Spanish publication Marca claim La Liga winger Pedraza was at his parent club Villarreal on Monday morning to finalise the details on his second loan move of the season.
It is said that Villarreal have paid £255,000 to cut short his season-long loan at second-tier outfit Lugo to allow him to join Leeds for the remainder of the campaign.
Marca report that Pedraza “leaves for Leeds” on a loan-to-buy deal that gives the promotion hopefuls the option to buy him permanently for £8.5million if they are promoted to the Premier League.
The deal is something of a coup given the calibre of the clubs competing for the youngster’s signature, and Leeds will be delighted to have sealed the deal ahead of second-tier rivals Newcastle.
Monk’s side are flying high in the Championship after overcoming a difficult start to the campaign to mount a genuine automatic promotion challenge.
They are fourth in the division, seven points adrift of second placed Newcastle, ahead of their next league fixture against Blackburn on Wednesday night.
In other Leeds news, there has been a finale in a major deal after a £7million Leeds bid was tabled.