Leeds could land a major bargain by signing Germany international and PSG star Julian Draxler this summer.
What’s the story?
Reports back in the January transfer window suggested that Marcelo Bielsa’s side were very much interested in both Draxler and Udinese midfielder Rodrigo de Paul.
Now, it’s been suggested that Draxler is set to leave the Parc des Princes in the summer when his contract expires, and former Leeds man Noel Whelan has thrown his backing behind a potential move for him.
He said: “From what I’ve seen from him at PSG, I’d take him all day long. He’s very comfortable on the ball, he’s got a good turn of pace, he’s got international quality. These are the attributes you need.
“It’s a free contract. It’s only going to be wages and not a hefty fee. If you’re looking to strengthen and to bring players in that are going to push us further, then absolutely. If he’s available, you go and get him.”
While summer signing Rodrigo has come out and publicly declared he is more than happy with life at Elland Road, that hasn’t stopped speculation in recent weeks suggesting he could still be on his way out of the club.
The attacking midfielder has struggled to showcase why Bielsa’s side brought him in from Valencia last summer, with just three goals in 21 Premier League games.
In Draxler, Leeds could land a bargain replacement for the Spain international, and someone who at still only 27, is just in the peak years of his career and could rejuvenate himself with a new challenge.
It was at Schalke, that Draxler was seen as the next big thing, with former sporting director Horst Heldt, declaring: “Julian is very, very young and his development isn’t over yet. That’s what makes him such an attractive proposition. It’s fantastic to have a player with such extraordinary talent here.”
The £18m-rated ace has only been on the fringes of things at Paris, but even despite his limited game-time – just 851 minutes of league football – he has popped up with six goal contributions.
The playmaker’s versatility of being able to play as a number ten or out wide on both flanks would give Bielsa a more than capable replacement for Rodrigo who has struggled to really take things by the scruff of the neck when playing behind Patrick Bamford.
Draxler, however, may relish that role if given the chance.
Meanwhile, Leeds must unleash this star who’s “got it all”…