HADI SACKO could be poised to make a permanent switch from Sporting Lisbon to Leeds United this week and become the club’s first signing of the summer.
Former France Under-20s winger Sacko joined Leeds on a season-long loan from Sporting last summer as part of a deal which gave United the option to sign the player at the end of the loan spell.
Reports in Portugal suggest that talks have been ongoing over the last few days and that Sacko could make his switch to Leeds permanent in the next few days.
Sacko, 23, made 42 appearances for United last season, scoring twice.
Leeds are still on the hunt for a new head coach following Garry Monk’s resignation last Thursday, meaning that Sacko’s switch might have to wait until Monk’s successor is named.
Former Middlesbrough chief Aitor Karanka remains the strong favourite to take the role and Leeds are poised to name former Boro head of recruitment Victor Orta as their new technical director this week.
Orta and Karanka worked together both at Middlesbrough and at Real Madrid where Karanka was assistant manager to Jose Mourinho.
Former Leicester City manager Claudio Ranieri is also prominent in the betting to be named Monk’s successor with the odds on the 65-year-old tumbling over the weekend.
Like Karanka, Ranieri is a free agent, having been controversially sacked by Leicester in February, just nine after months after guiding the club to a spectacular Premier League title win the previous May.
The out-of work-Italian admitted he knew nothing about United’s interest on Friday.
When asked if he would be interested in the Leeds job, Ranieri said: “I prefer not to speculate.”
Nigel Pearson and Alan Pardew are other names prominent in the betting to land the Leeds job but Marco Silva, who had been second favourite, has left Hull City to become Watford chief.
Former Swansea City boss Michael Laudrup - the manager of Qatar Stars League club Al Rayyan - is a new name to be linked.