Leeds United have reportedly been dealt a huge boost to their preparations for the Championship season with Willy Gnonto’s impending exit from the club looking further away than ever.
The Italian winger joined from Zurich in 2022, making his Premier League debut in the shock 2-1 win over Liverpool last season, before taking on a more prominent role within the first-team – though it ended in relegation for the Whites.
As their first-team stars all venture off to moves elsewhere ahead of the new season, links have picked up for Gnonto’s whereabouts. And Fabrizio Romano has given fans of the Yorkshire club a boost by saying his future has not been resolved just yet.
What are the latest updates on Wilfried Gnonto’s move to Everton?
According to Romano, Leeds face an easier battle than first thought in their bid to keep the Italian attacker. Inter Milan, Everton and more have been linked with his services throughout the transfer window, though it appears that the Yorkshire club haven’t fielded any bids for the wide man just yet, with the Toffees focusing on ‘other targets’.
Romano said, via his CaughtOffside column: “Everton like Gnonto but they’re focused on different players now. I’m sure Leeds are trying their best to keep Gnonto, they want him to stay and to be one of their stars next season.
“It will depends on the strikers domino in the Premier League but at the moment it’s a bit quiet on this one.”
What is Gnonto’s current transfer situation?
The winger has four years left on his contract in West Yorkshire, and so that puts the Whites in a very strong position when it comes to selling one of their key assets.
A fee of £15m was reportedly rejected from Everton earlier in the window, which seemingly sees Leeds value Gnonto at higher than £20million – which after his breakthrough season last time out, is an extremely fair reasoning.
Football Insider claimed last week that the Toffees still lead the race to sign Gnonto, with Leeds resigned to his exit in the coming weeks as they prepare for a season in the second-tier – though the fact that the Italian does NOT have a relegation release clause in his contract massively helps their cause.
Who have Leeds United sold so far in this transfer window?
In one of the more bizarre transfer windows, Leeds have actually spent more than they have received – quite unheard of for a recently relegated Championship club who are looking to bounce back to the top-flight at the first attempt.
Whilst Robin Koch, Diego Llorente, Brendan Aaronson, Rasmus Kristensen, Marc Roca and Max Wober have all departed on a loan basis to save wages, the Whites have only sold Rodrigo, Alfie McCalmont and Tyler Roberts for any sort of fee – and their £7million capture of Ethan Ampadu therefore means that they have spent more than they’ve earned.
Of course, Farke’s men have cleared quite a bit of money from their wage bill with the exits of six stars – four of whom were signed in the Jesse Marsch era. And with the likes of Jack Harrison, Tyler Adams and Gnonto all being linked with moves away from Elland Road, we could see those tables turn once again before the transfer window closes
Related development: Leeds now want to sign player Daniel Farke thinks can play at the ‘top level’Daniel Farke believes Leeds United target Brandon Williams is capable of playing at the ‘top level’.
However, any deal is likely to depend on Williams’ desire to drop into the Championship, with Leeds determined to strengthen their options at left-back before the window closes on September 2.
Williams has already made 47 Premier League appearances during his career so far but has fallen out of favour at Old Trafford in recent years due to the performances of Luke Shaw.
Farke believes Leeds target Williams can play at the ‘top level’
Farke only worked alongside Williams for nine Premier League matches but is clearly a big fan of the player based on his comments once a deal was wrapped up in the summer of 2021.
He said: “We’re really happy that we have been able to bring Brandon in. This is an exciting deal for all parties, and we thank Manchester United for allowing us the opportunity to work with Brandon.
“Brandon is a young player full of potential. He has already proven that he can perform on the top level and that he is capable of playing for Manchester United. He has many good skills and qualities.
“We wanted to bring someone in who was capable of playing in the full-back positions to strengthen our squad. Brandon has played a lot at left-back for Manchester United, but we know he is also capable of playing on the right side, too.”
Leeds are in need of strengthening their options at left-back this summer and reports linking the Whites with Williams make sense based on Farke’s knowledge of the player.
At this stage it is unclear what sort of fee Man United would command for Williams, who has 12 months, plus the option of a one-year extension left on his deal.
Williams would add plenty of top-flight experience to Leeds’ squad and also wouldn’t require too long to get to grips with Farke’s methods given their previous spell alongside each other, meaning he would represent a decent bit of business