Wilfried Gnonto's 'likely' destination as Leeds United line up in-demand Premier League replacement

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The rumour mill is in full swing as Leeds United enter the final fortnight of the January transfer window

Leeds United have reportedly entered the race to sign Burnley's Manuel Benson this month. The Whites are yet to make a signing in the January transfer window, but with two weeks to go until deadline the club are expected to be active.

Defensive reinforcements are the obvious priority for Leeds, having seen Luke Ayling and Djed Spence leave the club earlier this month, and the club have been linked with a host of defenders as they work to strengthen Daniel Farke's hand. The manager has been firm in his insistence that Leeds would not allow squad players to leave this month and that remains the message, despite a number of players said to be attracting interest.

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One of those is Wilfried Gnonto, who has been strongly linked with a move to West Ham United this month, but remains part of Farke's Elland Road plans. According to Belgian journalist Sacha Tavolieri, though, a move to the Hammers before the end of the transfer window looks 'likely' for Gnonto and Leeds have identified Benson as a potential replacement.

Benson is attracting plenty of interest from the Championship this month with the same reporter claiming on Wednesday that Southampton had submitted second loan bid for Benson in a bid to strengthen their push for promotion back to the Premier League. Hull City are another who have been linked with the Belgian, but if the report is to be believed, Leeds may well see him as the ideal man to fill Gnonto's spot within Farke's first-team squad.

Benson played a vital role for Burnley under Vincent Kompany in the Championship last season. After joining the club from Royal Antwerp, the 26-year-old bagged 14 goals in all competitions, including 12 in the league as the Clarets won promotion back to the top flight at a relative canter.

This season, though, the winger has found himself on the fringes of Kompany's squad and has made just four Premier League outings as a result.

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According to a Burnley Express report from earlier this month, relations between Southampton and Burnley soured during the summer over a move for Nathan Tella. As such, it is claimed a move to the south coast for Benson is unlikely to be sanctioned by the Turf Moor outfit, which could bolster the Whites' hopes of landing him, should the report be accurate.

Leeds have also been linked to Bournemouth wide man David Brooks recently, while a report in Thursday's Daily Mirror claimed the Whites are looking at Manchester United's Amad Diallo, who the club were linked with in the summer.

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