Leeds United have reportedly emerged as the favourites to sign Cagliari midfielder Nahitan Nandez this summer.
According to TMW, Inter Milan have cooled their interest in the Uruguay international, opening the door for Leeds to make a move. Nandez has reportedly handed in a transfer request and refused to train with the Cagliari squad.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side were heavily linked with Nandez earlier in the summer, but could not complete a deal for the 25-year-old.
Nandez has established himself as a mainstay in Cagliari’s midfield over the past couple of seasons. He has made 72 appearances for the club in all competitions and played an important role in keeping Cagliari in the Serie A last season.
The Uruguayan, who has three years left on his current contract, will command a fee of around €30 million.
Nahitan Nandez to Leeds United – What will he add to the team?
Leeds United have not been too active in the market. Their only major moves thus far have been for Jack Harrison, Junior Firpo and Kristoffer Klaesson, and they will need further reinforcements if they are to build on their ninth-place finish last season.
Marcelo Bielsa is currently limited in terms of central midfield options. Kalvin Phillips, Stuart Dallas, and Mateusz Klich, are the only players he can call upon at that position, so Nandez’s arrival will certainly be a boost.
The Uruguayan has all the attributes to succeed under Bielsa. He is extremely hard-working and has great technical ability. His quick feet and close control allow him to drive the ball up the field. He has a good passing range and rarely gives away possession cheaply.
He is not the most expansive of passers, but he does have the ability to spot runs and play his teammates through on goal. He averaged 1.2 dribbles and one key pass per game in Serie A last season.
Nandez is also a bundle of energy and likes to constantly press high up the field and win back possession for his side. Last season, he averaged 1.8 tackles and 1.3 clearances per game for Cagliari.
Another quality that will hold him in good stead at Leeds is his versatility. The Uruguayan can play out wide or through the centre, or even in a deeper role in front of the back four.
Leeds were run ragged in midfield in their Premier League opener against Manchester United, highlighting the need for fresh faces. Nandez will bring with him plenty of energy, tenacity and aggression, and will be a valuable addition to the Leeds United side.
Stats via Whoscored