Leeds United target ‘was never tempted’ before making £18m transfer

Jesse Marsch’s side are said to have missed out on several attacking players in the summer including Cody Gakpo and Charles de Ketelaere - according to reports.
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The summer transfer window was a massive one for Leeds United as the Yorkshire club both received and spent record transfer fees in a total squad reshape. Head coach Jesse Marsch saw Raphinha and Kalvin Phillips leave for a combined total of a little under £100 million while also investing heavily to bring in the likes of Tyler Adams, Luis Sinisterra, Brenden Aaronson and more.

However, the Whites weren’t able to bring in every transfer target they were linked with and reportedly missed out on more than one big name particularly when trying to bring in more forward options. PSV Eindhoven winger Cody Gakpo and AC Milan attacker Charles de Ketelaere, who was with Club Brugge before joining the Serie A side, were amongst the most high profile names who were understood to be wanted at Elland Road but one other player has now come out and said he was ‘never tempted’ by a move to the Premier League side.

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Former PSG striker Arnaud Kalimuendo, who made an £18 million move to fellow French Ligue 1 side Rennes in the summer, reportedly rebuffed an offer from Leeds - according to an article at the time by 90min. Now, in an interview with French publication L’Equipe (referenced by HITC) the 20-year old has opened up about the summer transfer saga.

He said: “There was no other possible decision, I didn’t think of the Premier League (because) I wanted to play here (at Rennes), with players I know. I watched a lot of matches last season, I saw how Martin (Terrier) and (Benjamin) Bourigeaud play and I really like imagining myself with them in the coach’s system.”

Kalimuendo also opened up about apparent frustrations over a lack of playing time at PSG, saying: “A frustration to leave PSG? Not at all. I knew what I wanted (to join). I have always been treated well and I leave there without bitterness. It is a source of pride to have been able to play at the Parc des Princes. But I knew it was going to be very hard to play. Progress comes through the playing time, which I have at Rennes.”