Leeds blow Arsenal away to put themselves in pole position for exciting Barcelona move after Orta confirms talks

·3-min read
Ilias Akhomach of Spain U20s Credit: Alamy
Ilias Akhomach of Spain U20s Credit: Alamy

Leeds United have moved ahead of Arsenal in the pursuit of the latest Barcelona talent and are now the best-placed club to sign him, according to a report.

Barca have a history of producing some of the best young players in world football. Gavi, Ansu Fati and Alejandro Balde are three academy products that manager Xavi can rely on.

Gavi in particular is having a huge influence, having made 37 appearances across all competitions so far this season. He won last year’s Kopa Trophy, which is awarded to the best player in the world under the age of 21, for his great performances with both Barca and Spain.

18-year-old winger Ilias Akhomach is the latest exciting youngster off the Barca production line. However, the Blaugrana are at serious risk of losing him.

Akhomach is due to become a free agent at the end of June. Rather than entering into contract renewal discussions with Barca, the teenager is seeing what offers from other clubs are available to him.

Leeds were first linked with Akhomach on February 20. AC Milan soon got involved in the transfer pursuit, but it was not long before they had dropped out.

READ MORE: Leeds striker target, who is his league’s second top scorer, drops ‘see what happens’ tease as West Ham lurk

Arsenal have recently begun battling Leeds for the Spain U19 international’s signature, while Whites director of football Victor Orta has confirmed that he is interested. During a recent interview, the club chief praised Akhomach by saying he has ‘so much talent’, though he did admit it will be tough to win the race for him.

Orta and Leeds have now received a very positive update from Sport Witness, who cite Spanish outlet Sport. They state that Akhomach has made a final decision on his future, as he ‘will leave’ Barca at the end of the reason rather than extend his deal.

Leeds move ahead of Arsenal, Sevilla in transfer chase

The report adds that Sevilla are rivalling Leeds and Arsenal for the attacker. However, Sevilla look set to lose out as Akhomach would like to try an adventure in the Premier League.

And it is Leeds who are best-placed to pick him up. That is because they are the ‘strongest candidates’ currently.

It must be noted that Arsenal are still in with a shout of snapping Akhomach up on a free transfer. However, it will be difficult for them to overtake Leeds given the fact the west Yorkshire side are in a strong position right now.

Neither Sport or Sport Witness reveal why Akhomach would prefer a Leeds transfer. Perhaps he feels he has a better chance of making it into the Leeds first team than Arsenal’s.

Leeds do have strong options in wide areas, including Willy Gnonto, Jack Harrison, Crysencio Summerville and Luis Sinisterra.

Arteta has less options to choose from out wide, with his main wingers being Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli and Leandro Trossard. However, it will be harder for Akhomach to overtake these players than those in the Leeds attack.

Meanwhile, Leeds have failed to bring a Manchester City player to Elland Road, according to a report.

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