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Marcelo Bielsa’s Leeds United were interested in Jovane Cabral but the Sporting Lisbon winger is nearing a belated move to the Premier League with newly promoted Watford instead, as reported by A Bola. 

At this stage you’d be hard pressed to find a member of Ruben Amorim’s title-winning side who has not been linked with a move to England during the past 12 months or so. 

Joao Palhinha, Tiago Tomas, Matheus Nunes and Pedro ‘Pote’ Goncalves were rarely out of the headlines as Sporting cruised to a first Liga Nos crown since 2002. 

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And while Cabral spent much of last season on the bench, the speedy Cape Verde international still played his part.

In total, the academy graduate produced five goals and four assists – not bad considering he started just six games in total. 

Leeds and others were jostling for Cabral

Now, Cabral isn’t quite as popular in the market as he was this time a year ago, when the likes of West Ham United, Fulham, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur were jostling for his signature.  

Championship runners-up Watford are interested, however, with Tuttomercatoweb reporting a deal is “very close” to being completed.

There remains one sizeable obstacle to overcome, however, with Xisco Munoz’s Hornets yet to meet Sporting’s asking price, which stands at somewhere in the region of £16 million. 

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Interestingly, A Bola reports Leeds showed an interest in the past – although this is the first we’ve heard of it.  

Perhaps the Yorkshire giants viewed Cabral, a positive and ambitious wideman who loves to cut inside and shoot from range, as an alternative to Brazilian whizzkid Raphinha. 

Leeds were linked with a host of exciting wingers before landing the former Rennes star and Cabral – versatile, quick, skilful and blessed with bags of potential – would have ticked a lot of boxes for Bielsa.  

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