Leeds United braced for double transfer snub as two European clubs enter race for Arnaud Kalimuendo

Leeds United are one of several clubs who count themselves as admirers of Paris Saint-Germain striker Arnaud Kalimuendo

Wednesday, 27th July 2022, 3:45 pm

Leeds are known to be in the hunt for an additional centre-forward for Jesse Marsch’s first-team squad, however laying their hands on one has proved a difficult task so far this window.

United have not struggled to add quality in attacking midfield, defensive midfield or at full-back, but a new striker has been elusive.

Charles De Ketelaere’s future remains in the balance with Leeds holding concrete interest in the Club Brugge man, but there have also been musings over PSG’s Arnaud Kalimuendo.

Arnaud Kalimuendo in action for PSG during their pre-season tour of Japan (Photo by Masashi Hara/Getty Images)

Both players are aged 23-and-under, boasting European experience much like fellow summer additions Tyler Adams, Brenden Aaronson and Luis Sinisterra.

Given their age profile, repeated links and the pair’s individual attributes, it is reasonable to assume both have been on Victor Orta’s watchlist for some time.

As is often the case with sought-after strikers, though, clubs tend to demand a premium in order to release them from their contracts and allow them to join another club.

Leeds have been quoted at upwards of £30 million for De Ketelaere, which some deem expensive for a player with no experience of domestic football outside Belgium’s comparatively weaker top flight.

In addition, the Belgian international’s preference is to join Serie A champions AC Milan, who are refusing to budge on their €30 million transfer ceiling.

It has been widely reported that De Ketelaere views Leeds’ interest as secondary to that of the San Siro giants, a familiar tale to Raphinha’s exit saga which saw Arsenal and Chelsea lodge more lucrative offers with the Brazilian’s representatives, only for him to choose Barcelona out of prestige instead.

Leeds could be set to experience a similar fate if reports in French newspaper L’Equipe are to be believed.

They report Kalimuendo does not envisage a move to Leeds, with the Whites’ interest deemed ‘not a priority’ despite an understanding he is expected to move on from Parc des Princes this summer.

Stade Rennais and OGC Nice are also in the running for Kalimuendo, and with Rennes’ €25 million sale of teen star Mathys Tel to Bayern Munich, the Breton club do have resources to persuade the PSG man to join.

Rennes have qualified for the UEFA Europa League this season, while Nice have a Europa Conference League campaign ahead of them, should they make it beyond the play-off rounds – European football a potential bargaining chip for the 20-year-old striker’s services.