Despite being in a relegation scrap, Leeds United are already planning for the future and are set to seal a first signing for new boss Javi Gracia.
That’s according to a report from Fichajes, which claims that Barcelona starlet, 18-year-old Ilias Akhomach, will leave the Catalan outfit this summer, and he is already in negotiations with Leeds to finalise a contract.
Ilias joined Barca for a second time in 2017 and progressed through the academy alongside key first-team midfielder Gavi.
The attacker has long been regarded as one of the club’s best talents, making three first-team outings under Xavi Hernandez last season.
However, due to his contract situation, he has not been given any further opportunities with the senior team this season.
Ilias, 18, is under contract at Barcelona only until June and Barca are eager to renew his deal, but there is so far no agreement for him to extend his stay at the Catalan club, with the player looking for a more fast-tracked path into the first-team.
Several top clubs across Europe are said to be keeping tabs on the teenager’s situation in Catalonia.
AC Milan are among a clutch of other clubs to have shown an interest in Ilias, however, the Italian side have not made any promises regarding regular first-team football, while Leeds are ready to provide the young attacker with game-time vital for his development.
Leeds’ interest is being driven by sporting director Victor Orta, who is well-versed in the Spanish market, although the club’s dismal performance this season has complicated matters.
The Whites have now wrapped up a deal to sign the forward on a free transfer ahead of the summer by reaching an agreement with the 18-year-old, fending off some major interest.
The report is especially intriguing given Leeds’ precarious situation in the Premier League.
It’s a big risk from the player’s side to earn regular first-team football.
It will be intriguing to see if his skill set fits well with English football, regardless of in which division he plays next season.
Tottenham Hotspur enter race to sign Leeds defender Robin Koch
Tottenham Hotspur are interested in signing the Leeds United defender Robin Koch in the upcoming summer transfer window.
Since joining Leeds United from Freiburg in 2020, the 26-year-old has endured an injury riddled career at Elland Road thus far, but he has been a regular starter when fit, and is enjoying his best season to date.
In recent months, he has formed the blossoming central defensive partnership with January arrival Wober, which has finally helped to shore up what has always been a leaky Leeds Utd defence since their return to the Premier League.
He has revealed that his agent and the club have opened preliminary talks over a new contract, but the defender will not rush in making a call on his future.
Likely because, Leeds are currently fighting relegation, currently sitting in 19th place in the table, and if they go down to the Championship, Koch will not want to be playing Championship football.
According to Tuttomercatoweb, Tottenham are among the clubs keeping an eye on his situation in Yorkshire. Newcastle United are also interested in acquiring the Germany international.
Spurs will need to add depth to the side as players like Davinson Sanchez and Clement Lenglet are likely to leave the club this summer.
Koch could prove to be a useful squad player and the opportunity to join Tottenham could be an attractive proposition for him.
It will be fascinating to see how the situation evolves over the following few months. Leeds will be striving to remain in the Premier League and keep their key players beyond this summer.