According to some reports, including this from Italian source Fanta Calcio, Leeds United are nearing the endgame in a deal for Udinese midfielder Rodrigo De Paul with a fee upwards of €35m/£31.2m being mentioned.

Fanta Calcio writes that confirmation from the English press stats that Udinese and Leeds United have agreed on a fee at €35m/£31.2m and intriguingly add “next week could be the definitive white smoke.” Of course, the ‘white smoke’ approach is traditionally used to announce the appointment of a new Pope but here is being used figuratively to signify a new signing on the horizon.

What a signing that Rodrigo de Paul would be for Leeds United.

26-year-old de Paul, a 17-cap Argentina international, has been at Udinese for four years, arriving on the back of a £2.7m transfer from Spanish side Valencia. Whilst at the club, de Paul has made 146 appearances for Udinese, scoring 25 goals and creating 25 assists.

141 of these games (24 goals/23 assists) have come in Italy’s top-tier competition, Serie A. Last season, de Paul featured in 34 Serie A games, scoring 7 goals and creating 6 assists. He captained the Turin side on 9 occasions

You don’t get to that level of output without being a little bit good and De Paul is certainly that and more. He is a player that has had Juventus on his tail and tracking him. The plots of his game actions (graphic – below) from Smarterscout show that his high-energy approach has him everywhere on the pitch.

Rodrigo de Paul – game situations – 2019/20

Put it quite simply and bluntly, if there’s white smoke over LS11 soon, there will be many Leeds United fans holding off calling 999 and asking for the fire service because signing Rodrigo De Paul would be flames thatthey wouldn’t want putting out.

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