Marcelo Bielsa wants Nahitan Nandez at Leeds United but the Premier League club cannot afford to trigger the £31 million release clause in his Cagliari contract, as reported by Calciomercato.
When Cagliari director Stefano Capozucca rubbished reports claiming that Leeds had made a bid for the Uruguay international two weeks ago, we foolishly thought this was the end of a transfer saga that has dragged on since Bielsa shuffled through the doors of Elland Road in 2018.
How wrong we were.
Because, while Leeds were yet to firm up their interest in Nandez by mid-June – in accordance with Capozucca’s claims – all that changed this week.
According to La Nouva Sardegna, Leeds have enquired about the possibility of taking the former Boca Juniors dynamo on loan for the season, with an obligation-to-buy clause included in his contract.
But Cagliari are unlikely to play ball.
Nandez has a £31 million release clause in his contract and the Sardinians have absolutely no intention of selling the turbo-charged midfielder for anything less than that.
Are Leeds going to miss out on Nahitan Nandez now?
While Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani has an excellent relationship with Cagliari counterpart Tommaso Giulini, he is not going to receive any favours from his old friend.
The Whites cannot afford to pay £31 million for a single player this summer and – unless Cagliari are willing to compromise – Leeds are facing up to the possibility of missing out on a player who has been sitting pretty at the top of Bielsa’s wishlist for years now.
“Both Nandez and (striker Giovanni) Simeone are players who Leeds like,” Giulini said back in October after rejecting an approach from the Premier League outfit for his two star players.
“But it is ruled out that these players will leave in the last few days (of the transfer window), because that would weaken (our squad) and that’s not what we want to do.
“It’s too late now. There wouldn’t be time to replace them.”