Leeds United have been dealt a massive blow in their pursuit of Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Nadiem Amiri as the player favours a move to Olympique Marseille.
The Ligue 1 club hold a long-standing interest in the 26-year-old and are keen to lure him to the Orange Velodrome before the transfer window slams shut.
Although they have a verbal agreement with the player on personal terms, Marseille are yet to launch an official proposal to wrap up the deal.
Leverkusen are keen to recoup most of their investment in the player and are demanding around €7 million to sanction a deal, but Marseille are reluctant to match those demands.
While there is no official bid from the French giants, talks between both clubs are reportedly ongoing as they remain eager to find an agreement that resonates with all parties.
Amiri set Leverkusen back around €9m when he joined the club four years ago and has made over 200 appearances for Die Werkself with 19 goals and 25 assists to show for his involvement.
He could prove to be an excellent addition to Marseille, who are also on the cusp of signing Inter Milan forward Joaquin Correa on a season-long loan with a buy obligation if certain conditions are met.
Leverkusen are hoping to finalise an agreement for Amiri on time and raise enough funds to continue their pursuit of Southampton forward Nathan Tella.
Leverkusen are determined to land his signature this summer despite Southampton’s exorbitant demands as they look to replace Moussa Diaby.
They have already seen an official bid worth around €18m rejected by the English second-tier club, who are holding out for a fee closer to €25m for the 24-year-old winger.
Tella could become the eighth signing to join Alonso’s squad, but they may be forced to exceed their transfer record, with Victor Boniface currently their most expensive summer signing, having joined for €16m.
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