Leeds United are edging closer to the signing of Omar Colley from Sampdoria, according to reports.
They have been tracking the Gambia international for a few months now and, according to Sport Witness, discussions have become formal, with a ‘concrete’ offer having been prepared.
Sampdoria’s asking price of €12-13million is seen as good value for money by the club, ‘considering higher figures have been spent on far less performing defenders’. Leeds scouts, upon observing Colley’s performances, have been left ‘positively impressed’.
The 28-year-old, who has previously played for Genk in Belgium, signed a contract extension earlier this year that ties him to Sampdoria until 2025, highlighting his importance to the side.
Currently, it looks as though Colley is most likely to take Diego Llorente’s place in the Leeds team, despite clear signs of improvement from the Spaniard of late.
Marcelo Bielsa, speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post ahead of Monday’s clash with Liverpool, said of Llorente: “He’s played well. He hasn’t had any bad games.
“He’s had a performance level that has improved every time he has played. He started playing well and has been playing better each time.”
Captain Liam Cooper, though, will be difficult for Colley to dislodge.
The Leeds skipper, whose leadership and organisational skills are invaluable at times, will miss out on the Liverpool game through suspension, meaning Luke Ayling is likely to take the armband.
On the matter, Bielsa said: “The captain of the team is chosen by the players. The captain is the leader and is the one who conducts his teammates.
“There’s nothing better than the players choosing how they conduct their behaviour than them. Ayling has all the capabilities to be a leader and conductor for the team.
“He has the most important virtue – he doesn’t speak too much and acts in the way he should – he leads by example.”
Leeds will certainly need leaders on the pitch on Monday if they’re to take another scalp following the defeat of Manchester City, but Bielsa knows much will depend on which Liverpool team turn up on the night.
On Jurgen Klopp’s side, he said: “I like to see Liverpool play. They always play in the same manner, for me that is big praise to give to a team.
“There’s no player in the team who is not prepared to receive or manage the ball wherever they receive it. They have big offensive power. Their full-backs are wingers. Their wingers are centre forwards throughout moments of the game. Their midfielders on the inside can attack out wide or inside in the same manner.
“There are three players who provide the defensive equilibrium – they don’t speculate, they always attack. They spend a lot of time attacking and not much defending. Like every team they have ups and down.”