Almost two weeks after Jamal Blackman was spotted at Leeds United’s Thorpe Arch training ground, the Chelsea goalkeeper still hasn’t signed a contract with the West Yorkshire giants.
But Leeds' much-maligned director of football Victor Orta might now be under pressure to get a deal for the 24-year-old signed, sealed and delivered as soon as possible, because the club’s other goalkeeping targets appear to be beyond their reach right now.
The Yorkshire Evening Post had reported that Angus Gunn of Manchester City was Leeds’ top target and it seemed that the relationship between Pep Guardiola and Marcelo Bielsa appeared to make a deal all the more likely.
But in a massive blow, the YEP is now reporting that Gunn is instead heading to Southampton in a deal worth an initial £10 million. This comes after Birmingham City blocked Leeds’ attempts to sign the 32-year-old David Stockdale on loan.
Now, Blackman is the club’s top target – but this appears to be because the other men seemingly available to Leeds now seem to be either heading elsewhere or staying where they are.
Fortunately, the report adds that Blackman is keen on a move to the Championship after shining in the second tier for Sheffield United last season. But Leeds and Orta should not be under any illusions now about how important a deal for the Blues shot-stopper has become.
Missing out on a third top goalkeeping target in the summer wouldn’t exactly add to the optimism around Elland Road since Bielsa’s arrival.