Leeds United: Uruguayan World Cup star linked with Whites
LEEDS United have been linked with an audacious bid to sign Inter Milan’s World Cup semi-finalist Alvaro Pereira, according to reports in Italy.
The 29-year-old won the 2011 Europa League with Porto and joined Inter for €10 million in August 2012 with Chelsea reportedly unsuccessful with a €20 million bid for his services in August 2011.
But reports in Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport suggest the versatile left-sided player is on the radar of Whites owner Massimo Cellino who was reportedly beaten to his signature in January.
The South American instead left Inter to join Estudiantes on loan but the Argentine side have decided against activating their option to buy him outright.
And reports in Italy suggest United have already tabled a bid for the South American who joined Inter after three years at Porto where he won the 2011 Europa League before joining Inter.
Turkish giants Galatasaray are also thought to be interested in the Uruguayan whose time at Inter appears to be over after two loan spells, at São Paulo and Estudiantes.
But Championship outfit Leeds face stiff competition if Galatasaray are interested given that the Turkish side have recently been crowned Super Lig champions, granting them qualification for the Champions League.
Pereira’s parent club Inter finished eighth in Serie A, meaning no European football next term.
Pereira has made some 66 appearances for his native country, highlighted by an appearance in the 2010 World Cup semi-final loss to the Netherlands in which he scored in injury time.
Four years later, Pereira faced England in the second Group game of the 2014 World Cup finals.
Leeds have also been linked with a move for 19-year-old rising star French forward Sehrou Guirassy. Guirassy, who is six-foot-two, has represented France at both Under-16 and Under-19 level and currently plays for Ligue 2 outfit Stade Laval.
Ligue 1 outfit St Etienne, home of former Leeds star Max Gradel, are also said to be interested in his services, Guirassy reportedly said in May: “First, I would like to rise up the ranks in France, joining a Ligue 1 club. After that, I would not close the door on going abroad.”
Leeds have been linked with a host of names this summer, notably QPR midfielder Joey Barton, and also Motherwell striker Lee Erwin who looks set to be one of new head coach Uwe Rosler’s first signings. Pescara’s Icelandic midfielder Birkir Bjarnason is another name strongly linked with a move to United who are also said to be interested in 33-year old Catania striker Emanuele Calaiò and Leicester defender Liam Moore.