The 21-year-old USMNT international was the subject of a reported £15m offer from Leeds this month but it was not enough to persuade the Austrian outfit to part with another midfield talent.
Leeds director of football Victor Orta is a longtime admirer of Aaronson, however, and the Whites would not be prepared to splash such a significant amount of cash on a player if Marcelo Bielsa was not on board with the idea. The Whites have consistently made clear they will not sign players and spend money for the sake of it, but it remains the case that they have not added a senior central midfielder to his squad since Adam Forshaw arrived in January 2018. If one was to join the club in the current transfer window he would have to be considered good enough to improve the squad with his presence, because Bielsa has shown he's quite content to rely on youngsters like Lewis Bate. The former Chelsea academy player was handed his Premier League debut on Sunday at West Ham United when Forshaw went off injured with a minor hamstring issue.
Aaronson's style of play would seem to make him an ideal addition for Bielsa's side.
Analytics FC's head of content Jon Makenzie told the YEP: "He would fit the more attacking eight profile in Bielsa’s team: a pressy attacking midfielder who creates chances both though passing and carrying the ball, and who has great movement off the ball too."
READ: Aaronson and names that fit the bill for Leeds in JanuarySalzburg, the runaway leaders of the Austrian Bundesliga, are currently eyeing a Champions League last 16 tie against German giants Bayern Munich next month which may aid their attempts to keep hold of Aaronson. They have an incredible track record for finding and developing young talent, before selling them on to clubs in the Premier League or German Bundesliga. Departures in recent years have included Patson Daka, Naby Keïta, Enock Mwepu, Sadio Mané and Erling Haaland. Aaronson is contracted to 2025 so Salzburg will feel no immediate rush to sell.
Although Leeds went into the month exploring a number of possibilities for the midfield vacancy, the YEP understands there are currently no bids lodged for any other players and they continue to consider Aaronson a top target.
The New Jersey native began his career with Philadelphia Union's academy before representing affiliate club Bethlehem Steel. He spent two seasons in the MLS with Philadelphia Union, finishing second for the 2019 Rookie of the Year award in his first campaign and earning a place in the MLS Best XI in his second.
In October 2020 it was confirmed that he would make the move to Europe to join Salzburg for an MLS record fee for a homegrown player of $6 million with an additional $3m in add-ons. The Union are also believed to hold a sell-on clause.
Aaronson, capped 15 times by his country, grew up idolising Liverpool and has dreamed of playing in the Premier League since he was a boy.
"I think for me the Premier League is the dream league for me," he told Sky Sports in 2020."It's unbelievable and it keeps going upwards. The players keep getting better and better and for me, it's for sure a dream league and something I would like to be a part of for any team over there really."