Report says Leeds United have set aside £4.4million plus bonuses to sign Jerry Mbakogu

(L-R) Jerry Mbakogu of Carpi FC competes for the ball with Lucas Biglia of SS Lazio during the Serie A match between Carpi FC and SS Lazio at Alberto Braglia Stadium on May 8, 2016 in...

Leeds United are even claimed to have first option agreement.

Perparim Hetemaj (L)  of Chievo Verona competes  with Jerry Mbakogu of Carpi FC during the Serie A match between AC Chievo Verona and Carpi FC at Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi on April 9,...

Leeds United's interest in Carpi striker Jerry Mbakogu continues to make news in Italy.

Leeds made an approach for Mbakogu in January, before postponing their interest until the summer.

Now Gazzamercato report Leeds have set aside a fee of 5 million Euros (£4.4 million) plus bonuses to sign the forward.

Jerry Mbakogu of FC Carpi competes for the ball whit Simone Iacoponi of Parma Calcio during the Serie B match between Carpi FC and Parma Calcio at Stadio Sandro Cabassi on November 25,...

A deal could not be done in late January as Mbakogu needed to get a work permit and this could not be done in time.

Carpi's director told Tuttomercatoweb last week that they had a provisional first option agreement with Leeds over a summer switch. 

Is Mbakogu worth the big spend?

This is a question which should be answered in context. Leeds have not spent a fee bigger than £3 million on a striker since they signed Robbie Fowler a decade and a half ago.

£3 million was the amount spend on Chris Wood in 2015, who went on to become the Championship's top goalscorer.

For a fee of £4.4 million it stands to reason that Leeds should be aiming for a better player than Wood.

Leonardo Bonucci (R) of Juventus FC controls the ball against  Jerry Uche Mbakogu of Carpi FC during the Serie A match between Juventus FC and Carpi FC at Juventus Arena on May 1, 2016 in...

Mbakogu does not have a scoring record which suggests he is. The 25-year-old has six goals in 19 Serie B games this season.

Online database Transfermarkt's valuation of him stands at £1.35 million, suggesting Leeds would be overpaying.

Could Leeds change their mind?

Leeds can certainly change their minds, they have a first option gentleman's agreement but are not bound into paying any money.

Mbakogu appears to be being considered as an alternative to Pierre-Michel Lasogga in case the Hamburg forward does not sign.

Leeds have signed young talent Tyler Roberts from West Brom, and if he proves a big success between now and the end of the season then the club's plans could alter dramatically.

Mbakogu is one option, but Victor Orta has months to find a better player for £4.4 million, and that should be an achievable task. 

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