Leeds United could rival AC Milan for the signature of Kouadio ‘Manu’ Konè in the January transfer window.
The Whites are reportedly reigniting their interest in the 19-year-old midfielder as Marcelo Bielsa didn’t rule-out any possible incomings in the January window, with a central midfielder the most likely position to be strengthened.
Vous l'entendez cette voix au loin qui crie "Frappe cousin, frappe"?— Toulouse FC (@ToulouseFC) December 24, 2020
Lors de #PAUFCTFC, @kone_manu a ouvert son compteur but en @Ligue2BKT pour le plus grand bonheur de ses coéquipiers
Konè was among several targets that Leeds were looking at in the summer window before a deal broke-down between Leeds and Bayern Munich for Michael Cuisance. Links to new incomings at Elland Road have already arrived with a double-deal for Fiorentina stars, Erick Pulgar and Christian Kouame being talked about in the Italian media.
Now CalcioMercato report that Leeds are looking to rival Serie A table-toppers AC Milan for the signing of Konè who has drawn comparisons to Paul Pogba during his young career. Meanwhile, Milan’s director of football Frederic Massara “had the opportunity to speak to Koadio Konè’s agents” - and likely has spoken to them at length, but it is not yet clear if the Italian giants intend to go for a deal now or in the summer.
RMC Sport reported in September that contact had been made between Leeds and Konè’s agents, with AC Milan’s interest dating just as far back, with a possible race set to ensue on who goes for the deal.
Emmanuel "Manu" Kouadio Koné , Tolosa— TANO® (@talebanikov) December 28, 2020
Centrocampista Centrale pic.twitter.com/4yo730oHLK
Currently playing in Ligue 2, Konè has made 17 appearances this season, scoring just one goal and is yet to make a league assist for Toulouse. Not only is this in Ligue 2, but also in Ligue 1 in which Konè made 13 appearances last season with his other Toulouse goal coming in the cup last season.
Despite his lack of goals and assists so far, Konè is highly considered in Europe and France’s plethora of exciting youngsters. He’s a central midfielder who has played primarily as an eight, but can also play a more advanced or defensive role in the midfield, a quality that Bielsa finds crucial when signing and developing players.
It’s difficult to predict exactly how the January window will go for Leeds, but the primary criteria remains the same - we will not sign a player unless he makes us better or has the potential to be great. Make of that what you will.