Leeds United last night sealed the signing of striker Caleb Ekuban and were boosted in their bid to land Ezgjan Alioski after Lugano revealed they expect the winger to leave for England in the coming days.
Lugano said Alioski’s departure from Switzerland was “imminent” with Leeds hopeful of adding the Macedonia international to the influx of transfers at Elland Road.
Ekuban, a quick and powerful Italian striker, completed a move from Chievo for an undisclosed fee yesterday, agreeing a four-year contract at Elland Road.
The 23-year-old, who scored 17 league goals during a loan at Albanian top-flight side Partizani Tirana last season, flew to England on Monday evening and was put through a medical by United yesterday.
Spanish midfielder Samuel Saiz – set to sign for £3million from Huesca – has also undergone a medical in the past 24 hours but Leeds are still to confirm his arrival despite expectations that he would be unveiled ahead of Ekuban.
The deal with Huesca, finalised by United on Friday, required complex negotiations and weeks of talks owing to the terms of the contract signed by Saiz when he left Atletico Madrid for Huesca in 2016 and issues relating to third-party ownership.
Atletico are due to receive half of the fee paid to Huesca and also retained certain economic rights to the 26-year-old playmaker.
Leeds were working to resolve the remaining obstacles last night having flown Saiz into England on Monday and the club remain confident that he will put pen to paper on a four-year contract in time to travel with Ekuban and the club’s first-team squad on a three-match tour of Austria on Friday.
Alioski – a target who Leeds have been monitoring for several weeks – could also be on board following Lugano’s admission that his exit is close.
In an article on their official website, Lugano said their training session last Sunday was “probably the last” that Alioski would complete with his current team-mates and described his “sale to an English club” as “imminent”.
Alioski did not play in Lugano’s pre-season win over fellow Swiss side Chiasso on Friday and was also left out of their home friendly against AC Milan last night, despite being present at the ground.
Basel were interested in Alioski’s signature and hoped to use their Champions League involvement next season as a way of landing him but Leeds pushed towards an agreement with Lugano last week and are keen to complete as much transfer business as possible before head coach Thomas Christiansen takes his players to Austria.
Alioski caught the eye with 16 goals and 14 assists in the Swiss Super League last term, helping Lugano finish third and qualify for the group stages of the Champions League.
The signing of Saiz and Alioski would take United’s tally of summer signings to eight.