Italian giants enter race for long-term Leeds target

The Whites have long been linked with the Udinese playmaker, and were close to signing him in the summer. They agreed a deal with the player but ultimately couldn’t agree a price with the club, who were holding out for over £36m.

Six months later, interest in the former Valencia man has spiked again, but Leeds are no longer at the front of the queue for the 26-year-old.

It’s believed that Inter Milan want to sign the player, providing they can offload Christian Eriksen to a willing buyer. Eriksen joined the Nerrazurri in the summer from Spurs, but has failed to hold down a regular place in the side and Antonio Conte is trying to negotiate his leave, with a return to England possible.

Once he’s off the wage books, Inter want De Paul to replace him, having been impressed with his tally of four goals and three assists from midfield this season.

It’s a blow for Leeds, who look in need of fresh inspiration after losing all three of their games in 2021. With just ten days left of the transfer window, time will tell if they can get any fresh faces through the door in time for the second half of the season.

Premier League: Leeds United v Brighton and Hove Albion

The Whites became something of a laughing stock last weekend when they were eliminated from the FA Cup by a Crawley team which even found time to field a left-back more famous for appearing in TOWIE, but will be hoping to pick up a win to restore some confidence.

Bielsa named a much-changed side for that game in fairness, and will welcome back some more familiar faces for the visit of the Seagulls, with Patrick Bamford the main name Leeds fans will be hoping to see on the score sheet again.

The Argentine boss admitted he got some of his substitutions wrong in that game, most notably the one which saw Liam Cooper withdrawn at half-time. The Leeds captain is expected to return to the starting XI when Brighton come to Elland Road though, with Luke Ayling alongside him as Robin Koch and Diego Llorente remain injured. As well as their centre back pair, Leeds are without influential midfielder Kalvin Phillips, who serves a one-game ban for picking up five yellow cards.

Illan Meslier will also return between the sticks, replacing Kiko Casilla, who had a shocker when given the chance to impress against Crawley. It’s hard to believe the Spaniard was one of Real Madrid’s signings to replace Iker Casillas a few years back, given his nightmare stint in England so far.

Brighton have had goalkeeping issues of their own recently, with Robert Sanchez taking the gloves from Mat Ryan after the Aussie’s poor run of form. Sanchez has established himself as the club’s new number one, with Ryan rumoured to be leaving the club in the January transfer window.

Graham Potter will be hoping his side can pick up a much needed win, with the Seagulls verging on the brink of the bottom three, and without a victory in their five league games. Narrow defeats to Arsenal and Manchester City have been complimented by score draws with Sheffield United, West Ham and Wolves, but it’s not been enough to lift Brighton any higher than 17th.

A win on Saturday could take them above Burnley, and they’ll have Yves Bissouma back available after suspension to try and do it. Adam Lallana, Danny Welbeck, Tariq Lamptey, Alireza Jahanbaksh and Aaron Connolly are all out. Percy Tau and Neal Maupay will battle to be named up front.

Leeds take on Brighton on Saturday, January 16th. Kick-off is at 3pm.

Leeds United edge out 1-0 win over Burnley

The Whites were shell shocked at Old Trafford but an early penalty from Patrick Bamford edged out all three points against the Clarets.

Marcelo Bielsa’s team returned to form with a high energy start as Bamford put them ahead after five minutes.

Burnley keeper Nick Pope clattered into him inside the box and the former Chelsea man continued his impressive start to Premier League life and smashed home from the spot.

The hosts continued to dominate from there on as Rodrigo Moreno tested Pope and the England keeper produced an instinctive stop from Jack Harrison.

Sean Dyche’s side did haul themselves into it after the restart with Matt Lowton and Ashley Westwood testing Illan Meslier.

Leeds looked comfortable to bed in the closing stages and eek out the win but Dyche’s side missed a golden chance to nick a point.

Leeds completely failed to clear their lines as Westwood’s cross wormed its way to Jay Rodriguez, but the Burnley fans favourite could only lash over the bar.

Full Time at Elland Road it’s Leeds United 1 Burnley 0

Premier League Preview: Leeds United v Burnley

The Whites were smashed 6-2 by Manchester United last time out and the Argentinian coach was livid in his post-match press conference.

His players are likely to have been in for extra sessions over the Christmas period but Bielsa is famously loyal to his players and most should keep their place.

Skipper Liam Cooper will have a late test on a knee problem with Spanish international Diego Llorente set to return and partner him at the back.

And for visitors Burnley, Sean Dyche’s side returned to winning ways against Wolves last time out and he will stick to the tried and trusted in Yorkshire.

Robbie Brady has shaken off a knock in time to travel with Ashley Barnes and Chris Wood back in business up top.

And it’s a 12pm start on December 27th at Elland Road

10-man Arsenal draw 0-0 at Leeds United

The Whites were the better side throughout at Elland Road, but despite Nicolas Pepe’s second half red card, Bielsa’s couldn’t force the win.

Leeds had the better of a tight first half, as Raphinha and Mateusz Klich both fired wide and Bernd Leno produced a instinctive stop to deny Patrick Bamford before the break.

The hosts lack of killer instinct meant Arsenal stayed in the game after the restart, but Mikel Arteta’s side shot themselves in the foot on 50 minutes.

Pepe clashed off the ball with Ezgjan Alioski, and after a quick VAR check, Anthony Taylor sent him off for a clear headbutt.

With a man advantage in the final half hour, Leeds did push for a winner, but Leno proved to be a vital barrier for Arteta.

The German produced a huge stop to deny Stuart Dallas on 66 minutes before blocking another effort from substitute Rodrigo.

But as the game began to see saw in the final ten minutes, both sides had chances to win it.

Rodrigo and Bamford were both denied by the woodwork before the anonymous Illan Meslier to deny Bukayo Saka.

But despite the late flurry of chances, this game was destined to stay goalless.

Full Time at Elland Road it’s Leeds United 0 Arsenal 0

Blades’ Chris Basham Excited for Leeds United Test

18 months ago, Basham scored the only goal of the game as the Blades beat Leeds in a vital game in the Championship, when both teams were fighting for automatic promotion.

The defender’s strike ensured Chris Wilder’s side leapfrogged the Whites, and a late-season capitulation from Marcelo Bielsa’s squad ensured only one Yorkshire side went up that year, with Norwich clinching the title.

Speaking about the game, Basham said: “Yorkshire derby, we have seen how good Leeds have been since they have come into the Premier League. So, it is a big game for us and it is an opportunity for us to take in a Yorkshire derby. And obviously I have been there and hopefully I can do what I did last time.”

Leeds will likely start as favourites for the game, having scored seven goals in their first two Premier League game. Meanwhile, Chris Wilder will be hoping for a late birthday present in the form of a goal, having not seen his side hit the back of the net in the top flight yet this season.

Leeds edge out Fulham in a 4-3 Premier League thriller at Elland Road

The Whites picked up where they left off at Liverpool last weekend, as goals from Helder Costa, Mateusz Klich and Patrick Bamford sealed the three points, despite a late fight back from Scott Parker’s team.

Despite having no fans to roar them on a historic day in West Yorkshire, the home side flew out of the blocks, and Costa fired them in front on five minutes.

Kalvin Phillips’ corner was helped on at the front post, and with Fulham unable to clear their lines, Costa bulleted home the loose ball.

Leeds dominated the rest of the first half but were pegged back against the run of play on 34 minutes, as Aleksandar Mitrovic slotted home from the penalty spot.

However, that reprieve didn’t last long for the visitors as Klich confidently tucked home his own spot kick just before the break.

Bielsa side motored on after the restart, as Bamford put them into a quick fire 3-1 lead.

Klich’s through ball split the Fulham defence, and the former Chelsea man strode on and fired netted past Alphonse Areola.

And with Leeds’ confidence flowing all over the pitch, Costa added a brilliant fourth a few minutes later.

Bamford’s hard work hustled Kenny Tete off the ball put wide, and his neat ball found the onrushing Costa to crash home his second of game.

But despite being three goals behind, Fulham refused to lie down and Bobby De Cordova-Reid’s strike hauled them back into it.

Mitrovic then began to cause more and more problems for Leeds, and the Serbian got away from Liam Cooper to power home Tete’s cross.

With the balance of the game now completely swung in their favour, Fulham pushed and pushed for an equaliser in the final 20 minutes.

Neeskens Kebano hit a post as the Cottagers pressed, and Mitrovic forced a fine stop from Illan Meslier, but in the end, Leeds had enough to clinch a first Premier League win more than a decade.

FULL TIME AT ELLAND ROAD IT’S LEEDS 4 FULHAM 3