Leeds in talks to sign £27m De Paul from Udinese

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Leeds are eager to continue their summer spending spree as the Premier League newcomers have opened talks with Udinese to sign Rodrigo De Paul, Goal has learned.

The Serie A side are demanding €30 million (£27m/$36m) for the 26-year-old attacking midfielder and he is also being monitored by some top Italian teams.

De Paul signed a contract extension with Udinese last October and is tied to the club until 2024. The Argentina international moved to Italy from Valencia in 2016 and has made 146 appearances in all competitions, scoring 25 goals.

The Championship winners are eager to bring him to Elland Road as coach Marcelo Bielsa believes he will strengthen his team ahead of the 2020-21 campaign.

The former Racing Club star is the Argentine manager’s top midfield target this summer and could be the next addition in a busy transfer window for Leeds.

Earlier this week the English side reached an agreement to sign 29-year-old striker Rodrigo Moreno from Valencia in a €30m deal.

That announcement was followed by the arrival of 18-year-old forward Sam Greenwood from Arsenal, who committed to a three-year contract, before they beat Tottenham to the £13m ($17m) signing of Robin Koch from German side Freiburg.

Meanwhile, Helder Costa made the move to the newly-promoted team from Wolves and 20-year-old goalkeeper Illan Meslier, who made 11 first-team appearances while on loan at Leeds last term, joined on a permanent basis from Lorient.

Jack Harrison will spend a third consecutive season at the club having returned on loan from Manchester City.

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Bielsa’s team are also pursuing Brighton defender Ben White but have had three bids turned down so far this summer, with the latest believed to be around £25m ($32m). However, Leeds are just one of several top-flight teams trying to land the 22-year-old centre-back. 

Also, Rangers have rejected a recent approach for Ryan Kent, with Steven Gerrard dismissing their offer as "way, way off" the Scottish side’s asking price.

Bielsa's Leeds will begin their Premier League campaign with an away game against reigning champions Liverpool, followed by a home clash with Fulham a week later.