Huge transfer boost for Leeds as PSG drop out of race to sign Ligue 1 star, with Fabrizio Romano delivering final blow

Jesse Marsch, Brentford v Leeds May 2022 Credit: Alamy
Jesse Marsch, Brentford v Leeds May 2022 Credit: Alamy

Leeds United have been handed a major lift in their pursuit of Ligue 1 midfielder Azzedine Ounahi after Fabrizio Romano revealed Paris Saint-Germain have dropped out of the race to sign him.

Ounahi is wanted by several teams following his top performances for Morocco at the World Cup. Indeed, Premier League clubs such as Leeds, Tottenham, Leicester, Newcastle and West Ham have all been linked with moves for him.

A switch to England came under threat when Paris Saint-Germain got involved in the pursuit for the Angers man. According to sources in France, PSG were offered the chance to sign him and were briefly considering launching a bid.

However, transfer expert Romano has delivered a crucial update on Ounahi. On Tuesday, he tweeted: ‘Paris Saint-Germain will not go for Azzedine Ounahi. It’s not part of plans as PSG follow different kind of strategy under [football adviser] Luis Campos, trusting their own talents.

‘PSG plan to trust [Warren] Zaire-Emery for the future in that position.’

It looks like PSG will snub the opportunity to add Ounahi to their ranks, instead focusing on the development of France U19 talent Zaire-Emery.

He is a 16-year-old midfielder who has already made six appearances in the PSG first team. And coaches at the French giants expect Zaire-Emery to make a big impact in the future.

PSG not hunting Ounahi’s signature is a major boost for Leeds, as well as any of the 22-year-old’s other potential suitors.

Leeds will be happy with PSG decision

For a player like Ounahi, who currently represents a relatively small French club in the form of Angers, joining PSG would be very hard to turn down.

Instead, the breakout World Cup star could now secure that move to England which has been very much talked up.

And Leeds appear to be the frontrunners to land Ounahi. Whites sporting director Victor Orta has reportedly submitted a £22million offer to Angers.

This bid remains the highest on the table. As such, there is ‘cautious optimism’ among those at Leeds that Ounahi will move to Elland Road in January.

Angers know they will have to sell Ounahi at some point in the near future. At the World Cup, he proved he has the ability to shine for a bigger team.

Angers should consider January sale

The French side may as well sell this month, when his transfer value is at a high. Otherwise, they risk him getting an injury during the second part of the season and then not being as valuable in the summer.

Ounahi and his agent are known to be pushing for a transfer, too, alongside team-mate Sofiane Boufal.

It looks like Ounahi could arrive at Leeds to replace Mateusz Klich. The Pole confirmed his exit from the club on January 5. In a statement, he wrote that his spell with Leeds ‘had been a dream’ and that he had struck up a ‘beautiful relationship’ with everyone there, including the fans.

It will be interesting to see how Ounahi gets on, should his move to Leeds reach completion. He does not have experience playing in England, so he might need some time to adjust.

But at the World Cup, the player showed he has the intelligence and attributes to mix it with some big-name midfielders. As such, he has a good chance of becoming a success in the Prem.

Leeds do have alternative midfielders on their radar, in case Ounahi ends up going elsewhere. And they have reportedly made an approach for an Arsenal-linked Brazilian.

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