Are Leeds having second thoughts over signing Jerry Mbakogu?
Wednesday, 23rd May 2018 22:52 by Tim Whelan
Italian club Carpi have given Leeds a deadline of June 30th to complete the signing of Mbakogu, but there are signs that Leeds are in no great hurry to get the deal over the line.
Carpi’s president told Italian broadcaster TVqui “We have signed a pre-contract with Leeds and by end of the 30th June we will have to close it. Unless there are some unexpected traps, he will play there next season.” The two clubs are reported to have agreed a fee of £3.5m for the Nigerian.
But Phil Hay of Yorkshire Post believes there are signs that Leeds are ‘beginning to stall’ on the deal, and have begun to prioritise the pursuit of other targets. This might be due to the criticism that Radrizzani and Orta have already copped from fans over the 25 year-old, as many think he would just be another of the type of sub-standard signings who have come to Elland Road in the last twelve months.
Mbakogu only scored six goals for Carpi in Serie B, plus another two goals in cup competitions, though this worrying statistic is partly due to the fact he missed most of the last three months of the season with a knee injury. The striker is still said to be highly thought of at the Italian club, which suggests that they must be keen to complete the sale because they need the money.
But Phil Hay suggests that Leeds are now focusing on a potential deal for Hull’s Abel Hernandez, who will be out of contract on the same day that the Mbakogu option expires, June 30th. Leeds are hoping to be able to reach a deal with the Uruguayan, even though his current wages are around £40,000 a week.
Hernandez is more like the kind of signing that Leeds fans would hope to see, even though he is three years older than Mbakogu. His 20 league goals contributed to Hull’s promotion to the Premier League in 2016/17, and in the season just finished he scored 8 times in the last 10 games once he had returned from an Achilles tendon injury.
Leeds might face competition for Hernandez’ signature from Aston Villa or possibly even Wolves, but let’s hope he is the one who ends up leading the Leeds United forward line when the new season kicks off in August.
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