Attacking Barcelona left-back Junior Firpo on Victor Orta's Leeds United transfer shortlist, latest on Matheus Cunha and Nahitan Nandez

Versatile Barcelona left-back Junior Firpo is one of the players on Victor Orta's shortlist for Leeds United's summer transfer business.

Sunday, 27th June 2021, 1:03 pm
ORTA TARGET - Barcelona left-back Junior Firpo is one of the players on Leeds United director of football Victor Orta's shortlist. Pic: Getty

The 24-year-old is a strong candidate for the left-back vacancy, although Leeds are facing opposition from European clubs including Napoli, who qualified for the Europa League last season, and a number of Champions League outfits.

His attacking ability is one of the main reasons Leeds feel he would suit Marcelo Bielsa's style of football. In his 62 top flight appearances in Spain Firpo has scored seven times and made nine assists.

Like Gjanni Alioski, whose contract at Elland Road will run out on Thursday amid uncertainty over his future, Firpo's versatility means he can also play left midfield. But the Dominican Republic born former Spain Under 21 international has featured at centre-half too, as well as filling in at both right-back and in defensive midfield on a small number of occasions.

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Firpo, behind Spain international Jordi Alba in the Barcelona pecking order, played seven times in La Liga last season and made six Champions League appearances but is likely to end his Camp Nou stay after two years. They signed him in 2019 from Real Betis for a £16.5m fee that reportedly could have risen to £27.5m due to add-ons. He spent five years with Real Betis, having joined as an 18-year-old from CD Puerto Malagueño.

Leeds are hoping Firpo's future is decided as soon as possible so that, if unsuccessful, they can move onto another of their top targets.

Meanwhile Brazilian attacker Matheus Cunha, who like Rodrigo De Paul has indulged in some social media flirtation with Leeds fans, is currently classed as unlikely when it comes to Leeds' summer additions the YEP understands, although as the case of Raphinha proved last summer, situations can change quickly in the window.

The Hertha BSC man is someone Orta has liked for a while. He began the 2020/21 Bundesliga season in incredible form, scoring six goals and making three in his first 10 games, but thereafter scored just one more all season as his side finished 14th in the 18-team German top flight.

Cunha, 22, is another versatile player who can play up front, behind a striker or on either flank, and another player linked with clubs who will feature in Europe next season. He is due to feature in the Olympics for Brazil and therefore would miss the vast majority of pre-season, with the gold medal match not scheduled until August 7.

The YEP understands that Nahitan Nandez is not on Orta's shortlist, despite being persistently linked to the club this summer.

Leeds are currently moving closer to the signing of a midfielder but do also want to add to their wing options before the transfer window closes. The Whites are also close to signing one of their Under 23s targets.