Stuttgart are thrilled to have tied Leeds United target Nicolas Gonzalez down, with Kicker reporting there’s no release clause in his new deal.
How times change.
At the start of the summer after firing Stuttgart to promotion from Bundesliga.2, Gonzalez made it clear he wanted out of the Mercedes Benz Arena as soon as possible (TMW).
And, according to TMW, Marcelo Bielsa was at the forefront of Leeds’ attempts to sign an £18 million-rated striker who has been compared to the legendary Mario Kempes back home in Argentina.
The Guardian backed up those claims, reporting Brighton and Hove Albion were interested too.
But, with the winter window due to open in a matter of weeks, Stuttgart suddenly find themselves in a position of strength.
This afternoon, Gonzalez put pen to paper on a new deal until 2024. Crucially, the contract doesn’t contain a release clause, allowing Stuttgart to demand whatever they want for a man who scored twice for Argentina during the November international break.
“We are very satisfied with the way Nico has developed over the past few months,” says sporting director Sven Mislintat, who compared Gonzalez to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after a stunning solo goal in a 3-3 derby draw with Hoffenheim at the weekend.
“He has proven his qualities in the current season – both in the VfB jersey and with the Argentine national team.”
Gonzalez adds: “I feel at home here and am very happy about the early contract extension. The promotion back to the Bundesliga was very important for VfB and the development in the current season is very positive.
“I would like to help continue on this path and will work hard to improve myself as a player.”
So if Leeds plan to renew their interest in January after a goalless draw with ten-man Arsenal littered with missed opportunities, it seems they’re wasting their time.