Ex-Leeds United man Victor Orta reportedly 'obsessed' with signing £13.7m Elland Road forward

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Former Leeds United director of football Victor Orta is reportedly keen to sign Italian international winger Willy Gnonto for Spanish club Sevilla.

Orta assumed sporting director responsibilities with the Andalusian club shortly after departing Elland Road last year. His time at Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan has seen him part company with two coaches already in a short space of time, while the club are understood to have well-documented financial issues to contend with.

Nevertheless, reports from Estadio Deportivo in Spain - via Sport Witness - claim Orta remains focused on the English market and hopes to cherry-pick Gnonto from his former employers. Orta was behind the Italian's signing back in 2022, when the then-teenager was recruited at the eleventh hour on deadline day following failed moves for Cody Gakpo and Bamba Dieng.

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It is suggested that Gnonto is one of Orta's latest 'obsessions' although the 20-year-old's reputed price tag, claimed to be £13.7 million (€16 million) will be a stumbling block in any attempt Orta makes to sign the Italy forward.

Gnonto has returned to form of late, replacing the injured Dan James in Daniel Farke's starting XI and remaining in the side after five goals in his last five games. The youngster is contracted at Elland Road for a further three-and-a-half years therefore Leeds are well-protected from overtures made by the likes of Sevilla. United are also likely to resist advances for the winger which do not meet their valuation, as was the case last summer when Premier League side Everton were rebuffed.

Gnonto was the subject of significant transfer interest at the beginning of the 2023/24 season, although it is understood the Italian is closer to signing improved terms at Leeds than a move away from LS11, after repairing relations with Farke and the club's fanbase.

Sevilla, meanwhile, reported a €17 million loss in their most recent set of accounts for the 2022/23 season, while the club reportedly have up to €90 million in debts.

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