Leeds United star ‘very close’ to €22m departure amid Everton and Aston Villa interest

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Willy Gnonto is closing in on a move back to the Premier League according to the latest reports in Italy

Willy Gnonto is edging towards the Leeds United exit to join last season’s Premier League rivals Everton, according to a report from Italy.

The 19-year-old has been one of a handful of players linked with a move away from Elland Road following the Whites’ relegation to the Championship.

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He has already had a busy summer after representing Italy in the Nations League and Italy Under-21s in the UEFA Euro Under-21s Championship.

Sportitalia reports Gnonto is ‘close’ to joining Everton in a deal worth €22million, with Aston Villa set to miss out on the player having previously expressed an interest.

The Toffees clinched survival on the final day of the Premier League season as they beat Bournemouth 1-0 to end the campaign in 17th as Leeds placed 19th.

The Whites paid just £4million for Gnonto last summer, with plans for the former FC Zurich striker to play a part in the club’s Under-21s side, as then manager Jesse Marsch insisted early last season the player was not yet ready for top-flight football.

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However, he played just a handful of times for the academy side before breaking into the first team and made his debut in the Premier League as the Whites recorded a famous win over Liverpool at Anfield at the end of October.

He made 28 appearances in all competitions last season, scoring four goals and providing four assists in an impressive debut campaign.

Marsch later backtracked on his comments and said of Gnonto after a stunning scissor kick in Leeds’ win over Cardiff City in the FA Cup in January: “He’s a very intelligent, humble, grounded, a real human being, who wants to improve, wants to work hard and believes in the process we’ve created for him and the group.”

Robin Koch and Brenden Aaronson have departed the club in recent days, with both players heading on loan to Germany while Tyler Roberts has also moved on this window and joined Championship rivals Birmingham City.

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Adam Forshaw and Joel Robles were both released while Weston McKennie swiftly left following the end of his loan move from Juventus. As reported by the YEP on Monday, more exits are ‘inevitable’ with Rodrigo another expected to move on.

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