Leeds United in advanced talks with Chelsea for midfielder Ethan Ampadu as first summer transfer
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Incoming transfer business has not yet commenced at Elland Road, with the initial priority being the removal from the wage bill of high earners with no realstic part to play in the looming Championship season.
Marc Roca was the latest to be shipped in a series of first team squad members to be shipped out on loan, following Robin Koch, Diego Llorente, Brenden Aaronson and Rasmus Kristensen out the door for a temporary move. Rodrigo, the club's highest earner, has also departed by in a permanent deal with Al-Rayyan in the Qatar Stars League. Each of those players had a salary reduction clause in their contract but were all signed on Premier League wages.
The exits, which may not have finished given the uncertainty over Illan Meslier and Junior Firpo's Leeds futures and the likely interest and offers for Willy Gnonto, Jack Harrison and Tyler Adams, have helped the club when it comes to profit and sustainability rules.
A full takeover of the club by 49ers Enterprises, which is shortly expected to receive full EFL approval, will ensure that Leeds have no shortage of cash to spend this summer but the financial fair play regulations restrict the losses the club can make across a three-year cycle.
Although much of interim football adviser Nick Hammond’s initial focus was on securing moves for outgoing players, work has continued on incoming recruitment in the background and as first reported by The Evening Standard, Ampadu is likely to be the first senior signing of the summer at Elland Road.
The Welsh international of 44 caps is still only 22 but has racked up considerable experience in loan spells while at Chelsea. RB Leipzig, Sheffield United, Venezia and Spezia have all had the midfielder, who can also play centre-back, in the past few seasons. He’s made 60 Serie A appearances, along with 26 in the English top flight.
Leeds have high hopes of retaining central midfielder Tyler Adams this summer but need to bolster the middle of the pitch regardless. Rangers midfielder Glen Kamara is another potential target they have been assessing in recent weeks. The 27-year-old Finnish international looks set to depart Ibrox this summer and has a number of interest clubs eyeing him.