Leeds United seizing window of opportunity as £26m move for first Jesse Marsch signing progresses

Brenden Aaronson is expected to secure his move to Leeds United this week, with a deal in the region of £26m progressing quickly towards completion.

By Graham Smyth
Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 8:00 pm
Updated Wednesday, 25th May 2022, 8:03 pm

The midfielder is set to join up with the United States men's national team next week for a quartet of international fixtures, including a pair of CONCACAF Nations League games, but before then there is a small window of opportunity in which Leeds can finalise the signing.

RB Salzburg refused to sell the 21-year-old in the January window, despite a pair of bids from Leeds - the second of which was around £20m. The Austrian champions prioritised Aaronson's involvement in their historic Champions League round of 16 clash with Bayern Munich, which they lost 8-2 on aggregate, and their ultimately successful attempt to retain their league and domestic cup titles for the fourth successive season.

Although their January attempts to bring Aaronson to Elland Road were rebuffed, the Whites were confident they could get their man in the summer, with Salzburg open to the idea and personal terms never regarded as a stumbling block. All that stood between Leeds and their target was a relegation battle, which they eventually won with a final-day victory over Brentford on Sunday.

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Aaronson played 41 times for Salzburg last season, scoring six goals and adding 10 assists.

He first moved to Austria in January 2021 to join the side managed by current Leeds boss Jesse Marsch, who was keen to press ahead with the move after taking over from Marcelo Bielsa at the end of February.

Leeds are hoping that once their first summer signing is done and dusted they can tick off at least one other bit of business in the next few weeks and get off to a quick start in the transfer window, with Victor Orta working on a number of potential signings.

Meanwhile the YEP understands that while there are almost daily reports emerging of Barcelona's intention to buy Leeds winger Raphinha, no offers have been received by the Whites.

MOVING QUICKLY - Brenden Aaronson could become a Leeds United player this week as the club seizes a window of opportunity to complete the move. Pic: Getty

The club's stance has not changed on the 25-year-old, who has no release clause in his contract and two years remaining on it, and so will not be allowed to leave on the cheap this summer.

Barcelona are not the only Champions League club among Raphinha's admirers but the proximity to the Camp Nou outfit of his agent, former Portuguese international Deco, makes it a likely destination should they stump up the necessary cash.

There also has also been no official approach yet for Kalvin Phillips, from any clubs, since Leeds saved their Premier League status, and the same goes for Jack Harrison, reportedly catching the eye of Newcastle United. Harrison's 10 goals this season and his importance to Marsch means he would need to be replaced with a player of at least similar quality and so while every player has a price, there is unlikely to be any appetite at Elland Road to sell the winger.