Leeds United have suffered a setback in their bid to sign Thiago Almada, after his Wales Sarsfield team-mate Fernando Gago insisted he is staying in Argentina for another season.
Dubbed the ‘new Lionel Messi’ due to his poise, balance and 1.67m frame, Almada is considered one of the most exciting young players in world football.
Almada is a very interesting prospect / Jam Media/Getty Images
The 19-year-old has been linked with a move to Leeds after talks with Whites manager – and fellow Argentine – Marcelo Bielsa.
However, any potential transfer has been ruled out by his team-mate Gago, who says Almada has committed to stay at Wales Sarsfield for another year.
“Everyone knows when it’s time to go,” Gago told newspaper Oli.
“But hey, he’ll have to stay another year because he already gave me his promise. If he doesn’t, I won’t let him out of the house.”
???? ??? ?????? ????????
Welcome to the Premier League, Leeds United and Marcelo Bielsa! ? pic.twitter.com/FwdBO8Pk2d
— 90 Minutes (@90min_Football) July 17, 2020
Leeds secured their return to the Premier League after a 16-year absence at the end of the 2019/20 season, booking their place in the top flight after being promoted as league champions.
The club will go about assembling a squad to compete with English football’s elite in the summer, and have been linked with Gent attacking midfielder Jonathan David and Girona forward Cristian Stuani ahead of the 2020/21 season. .
Speculation arose about the club’s interest in Almada – who has also been linked with Barcelona and Manchester United – following the teenager’s comments about Bielsa.
Almada praised Bielsa’s footballing philosophy / Jam Media / Getty Images
“I would like Bielsa to coach me,” Almada said. “My friends sent me something about Bielsa, but I am calm. Whether it happens or not, we have to see.
“I don’t watch a lot of soccer, but I saw some highlights from Leeds and I saw something similar to what we did in Wales. [Gabriel] Heinz.”
Almada is currently coached by compatriot and former Manchester United full-back Gabriel Heinze at Wales Sarsfield.