Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani has named three players his club almost signed in the January transfer window.
It’s been a difficult season for Leeds. They have won just five league games from a possible 24, leaving them one point above the relegation zone.
This form led to the sacking of manager Jesse Marsch. He has since been replaced by former Watford boss Javi Gracia, who won his debut match against fellow relegation strugglers Southampton.
The Yorkshire club were busy in January, bringing in three new players. Weston McKennie was the biggest name of the trio, arriving on loan from Juventus.
Meanwhile, Georginio Rutter was signed for a club record fee, and Maximilian Wober also came in from RB Salzburg.
However, they were hoping to recruit more. Owner Radrizzani has now revealed three players that were on the club’s wish list.
Speaking to DAZN, as quoted by Fabrizio Romano, Radrizzani said: “We wanted [Charles] De Ketelaere — then we almost signed [Jonathan] Bamba on Deadline Day, it was crazy.
“We explored a potential swap deal to sign Nicolo Zaniolo in January, but it was not possible to proceed. AS Roma had no space available for extra-UE players.”
AC Milan are rumoured to be looking to cut their losses on De Ketelaere, who has failed to impress since arriving from Club Brugge last summer.
In 28 appearances in all competitions, the young Belgian has not scored a single goal and has registered just one assist.
Bamba has been a key part of Lille’s squad since signing from Saint-Etienne four-and-a-half years ago. He has scored 26 and assisted 22 in the league for Les Dogues, helping them to the Ligue 1 title in 2021.
As for Zaniolo, Leeds were one of several clubs interested in the 23-year-old’s services, including Tottenham Hotspur and AC Milan. However, he opted for a move to Galatasaray.
Next up for Leeds is a trip to out-of-form Chelsea. This is followed by a home game against Brighton & Hove Albion.
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