Leeds United: Whites aim to wrap up Botaka’s transfer

Uwe Rosler.
Uwe Rosler.
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Leeds United will look to conclude the signing of Congo international Jordan Botaka tomorrow after mounting a late bid to bring the winger to Elland Road.

Leeds agreed a fee with Botaka’s current club, Dutch side Excelsior, yesterday and are hopeful that the 22-year-old will agree personal terms and pass a medical in the next 24 hours.

Botaka, who is in line to become United’s eighth summer signing, is understood to have been offered a two-year contract with the option of a third year.

He is one of two arrivals which could materialise at Elland Road before FIFA’s transfer window closes at 6pm on Tuesday. The YEP understands that Leeds are considering a move for another winger – based in England – ahead of the deadline.

United were heavily linked with Wolverhampton Wanderers Rajiv van La Parra over the weekend but talks between the two clubs have yet to force a deal for the 24-year-old Dutchman.

A source at Elland Road described negotiations as “miles apart” and indicated that van La Parra was unlikely to join Leeds.

Botaka, however, appears to be heading for United in a deal which is expected to cost Leeds in excess of £1million.

The club turned their attention to him after giving up on a pursuit of Anthony Limbombe, NEC Nijmegen’s highly-rated Belgian winger.

A £1.5m offer from Leeds for Limbombe was rejected at the start of this month and United refused to meet NEC’s £2.5m asking price.

Botaka has spent two seasons and played more than 70 times in Holland’s Eredivisie after joining Excelsior from Club Brugge in 2013.

He has been capped by Congo having previously represented Holland at youth level.

In an interview broadcast by Dutch media today, Botaka called the transfer a “done deal” and confirmed that he had only a “few details” to finalise before joining United.

Leeds head coach Uwe Rosler revealed that a new winger was his main priority in the final hours of the transfer window following a dramatic and rousing 2-1 victory at Derby County yesterday.

“When you play the majority of games in 4-3-3, you need wingers,” Rosler said. “At this moment in time we’re probably one short.

“In that department we need to look but I never panic. I can see that people around me are working very hard to give us players with the right quality and the right ambitions.”

Leeds attempted to land striker Fernando Forestieri from Watford in a £3m deal last week but abandoned that bid after Forestieri refused to consider their offer. The 25-year-old joined Sheffield Wednesday yesterday. The identity of the second winger interesting United has not been revealed but the club gave fresh thought to a bid for Sunderland’s Will Buckley towards the end of last week. Buckley’s wages – believed to be in excess of £20,000 a week – are still likely to prevent that move, however.

Rosler, meanwhile, oozed positivity after a rare win away at Pride Park – United’s first victory of the season – took Leeds into the international break unbeaten and with seven points from five games.

“I think we’ve had a very good start to the season,” Rosler said. “We’ve put ourselves in the right position, where we want to be.

“We need to add one or two players and then we’ll be in right good shape.”

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