LEEDS UNITED hope to conclude a deal with Huesca for Samuel Saiz before the end of the week amid increasing confidence that the Elland Road club will win the race for the Spanish midfielder.
Leeds and Huesca are at an advanced stage of talks aimed at bringing Saiz to England and securing United’s second new arrival of the summer window.
United have been working on the transfer for the past fortnight and moved to the front of the queue for Saiz over the weekend.
Huesca want around £3million for the ex-Real Madrid trainee and negotiations have been complicated by a clause in Saiz’s deal which is set to earn his former club Atletico Madrid half of the fee paid for him.
Atletico negotiated a sell-on deal when Saiz made a permanent switch to Huesca in 2016 and Leeds have been attempting to smooth out the technicalities of Saiz’s planned departure from Huesca.
Sources in Spain have told the YEP that the 26-year-old is hopeful of seeing a move agreed in the next 48 hours, clearing the way for Saiz to fly to England and undergo a medical next week.
United have persisted in pursuing Saiz despite intense interest from a number of top-flight Spanish clubs.
Eibar, who Leeds are set to play in a newly-arranged friendly in Austria on July 23, appeared to have a deal in place earlier in the month but United turned Saiz’s head with an approach to Huesca as the Spanish second division play-offs drew to a close.
Saiz helped Huesca to the end-of-season knockouts with 12 goals and eight assists but the club missed out on promotion after defeat to Getafe. Huesca were resigned to losing him having failed to reach La Liga and Real Betis and Alaves joined Eibar in showing an immediate interest in him.
Leeds secured one European import last week by signing Poland international Mateusz Klich on a three-year contract from FC Twente.
United committed around £1.5m to the Klich deal and are set to exceed that investment with a deal to buy Saiz. The club have previously committed seven-figure sums to taking winger Hadi Sacko on a permanent contract from Sporting Lisbon and centre-back Pontus Jansson on a full-time basis from Torino.
It emerged on Tuesday that Leeds were in the running to land Werder Bremen goalkeeper Felix Wiedwald and the club are continuing to monitor Lugano’s Macedonian winger Ezgjan Alioski.
Alioski has returned to pre-season training with the Swiss club.
Former Leeds assistant Pep Clotet is in contention for the manager’s job at Oxford United.
Clotet, who parted company with United following Garry Monk’s resignation as head coach, is being considered for a role left vacant after Michael Appleton quit Oxford to become assistant manager at Leicester City.