By Richard Parks
To say Victor Orta has got it in the neck from Leeds United supporters in recent months is something of an understatement.
The frustration of fans who had such high expectations earlier in the campaign has been directed predominantly at the director of football responsible for the mass recruitment since Andrea Radrizzani took sole control last May.
Orta’s recruitment team have had a few notable hits – particularly Adam Forshaw and Samuel Saiz – but far too many flops, and the team’s results have suffered accordingly.
Yet Orta is said to be on the verge off pulling off a stunning deal that would restore his battered reputation in the eyes of even his harshest critics.
The Sun claim Swansea City striker Oli McBurnie is to snub a new contract at the Premier League outfit and join Leeds on a free transfer this summer.
It is said the prolific front man is keen to return to his hometown club after thriving during a loan spell at Barnsley in the second half of the season.
What a signing McBurnie would be for Leeds. He has scored eight goals in 13 matches since joining Barnsley on loan in the January window and demonstrated the kind of clinical touch that United are crying out for.
It is testament to his talent that Swansea are keen to keep the rising star, who has been in electric form since dropping down to the Championship in the winter window.
Versatile, mobile and powerful, the two-times Scotland international would add a much-needed new dimension to a Leeds front line that has been so powderpuff in the second half of the campaign.
He has been used predominantly on the left side of the Barnsley attack, but he can also operate on the right or as the line-leader.
McBurnie also has the added advantage of being available on a free transfer, which will delight the Leeds beancounters and is surely a key element in their pursuit.
Should Leeds, as the Sun report, see off interest from rivals such as Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County to land the 21-year-old, Orta will have pulled off his best deal yet.