Leeds are to face competition from Serie A side Inter Milan for the signature of Valencia’s young left-back Jesus Vazquez in the January transfer window, according to reports.
Spanish media outlet Plaza Deportiva added the Whites to the list of clubs already interested in Vazquez such as Inter. In the article, a contract clause is cited which states Vazquez is free to leave the Spanish club if he fails to play a certain number of minutes for them.
With the teenager only featuring for 149 minutes for Valencia in La Liga this season, and the deadline for this particular stipulation in his contract having passed, Plaza Deportiva suggests he is now allowed to leave Spain.
This presents Leeds with the genuine prospect of signing the nineteen-year-old, albeit with opposition from Inter Milan, who Plaza Deportiva report are preparing to make an offer to take Vazquez on loan for the remainder of the season, with a $7m (£6m) option to buy in the summer written into his contract.
As only one senior left-back currently exists at the Yorkshire club in the form of Junior Firpo, Leeds will undoubtedly be keen on securing another player for this position to either displace or act as understudy to Firpo.
Vazquez’s failure to gain minutes for Valencia so far this season is significant for two reasons.
Firstly, it facilitates his departure from the club on a contractual level, if the clause reported by Plaza Deportiva is to be believed.
Secondly, and perhaps even more importantly, it encourages Vazquez to consider – and potentially even accept – offers from other clubs such as Leeds who would presumably give him more game time than he is currently being offered. Personal motivations are often crucial in deals such as these, particularly with young players such as Vasquez, who are at a stage where playing matches is paramount in their own footballing development.
If the Whites were to sign the Spanish youngster, it would provide fortification in an area of the pitch which has needed strengthening for a significant period of time. It would also enable Pascal Struijk, currently being played out of position as a makeshift left-back, to occupy his favoured centre-half position once again and potentially alleviate Leeds’ defensive frailties slightly in so doing.
The extent that Vazquez would feature in Marsch’s plans for the remainder of the season is a matter for speculation, but at the very least it would provide another option in a full-back position which has looked decidedly light for quite a while.