Sources: Leeds lay groundwork for club-record De Paul deal after new talks
Leeds United are laying the groundwork for another mega-money pursuit of Udinese playmaker Rodrigo De Paul this summer, Football Insider understands.
United held extensive talks last year over a deal for the Argentine, 26, but could not agree a fee with the Serie A club.
A Leeds source has told Football Insider the club have continued to closely monitor De Paul’s situation and he is one of their top targets.
United have already asked for information on what it would take to prise the versatile midfielder from Udinese in the upcoming window.
The Italian outfit wanted £37million for De Paul last year and that ultimately proved beyond what Leeds were willing to pay.
But it is likely he can be lured away for a cheaper fee this summer, with one less year remaining on a contract that runs until 2024.
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Leeds are nonetheless prepared to pay a club-record fee for De Paul, who is highly rated by manager Marcelo Bielsa.
He has had another outstanding season for 11th placed Serie A side Udinese.
The club captain has started 31 of their 33 league matches – missing two due to suspension – and scored eight goals as well as supplied eight assists.
He has spent the last five years at Udinese and made 179 appearances for the club.
United’s record signing is Rodrigo Moreno, signed from Valencia last year for a fee rising to £27m.
He has had an up-and-down debut Leeds campaign, partly due to a series of frustrating injuries.