Marsch 'always believed' Leeds would stay up
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Leeds United transfer chief Victor Orta has overseen the club’s second signing of the summer, with a deal to bring in Rasmus Kristensen from RB Leipzig now official. The Whites already had an arrival in the bank after sewing up a move for Brendan Aaronson, and fans could be set for more excitement with Orta reportedly wasting no time in trying to lock down a third.
Having successfully batted away rival interest from Borussia Dortmund, no less, Kristensen was unveiled in Leeds colours on Wednesday afternoon. The 24-year-old, who is expected to provide competition for Luke Ayling at right-back, reportedly cost the club £10million.
“When I heard about the interest I looked at the project and what was going on and I was never in doubt, I was 100 per cent convinced,” said the Dane. “It’s a huge historical club which is playing in the best league in the world and for me, it fits everything that I love about a football club.”
And Kristensen is the second player to be nabbed from RB Salzburg in the space of two weeks. A hefty sum was paid for American youngster Brendan Aaronson at the end of May, and a five-year contract will come into effect on July 1.
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With two injections of quality and squad depth now at Marsch’s disposal, Orta is supposedly wasting no time in recruiting a third new face. According to the latest reports, the next deal over the line will either be yet another Salzburg star in Junior Adamu, or New York City FC’s Valentin Castellanos.
The former notched 14 goals in all competitions last campaign, and many expect him to step into Karim Adeyemi’s shoes if he stays with Salzburg next season. But they may have a tough time keeping him as Sky Germany claim that Leeds are among a host of interested parties, including West Ham and Southampton.
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As for Castellanos, transfer insider Graeme Bailey claims that Manchester City have already passed up the opportunity to sign the Argentine, who is one of the most sought after players in the MLS. That leaves the door open for the Whites, who are in dire need of attacking depth due to Patrick Bamford’s persistent injury struggles. Castellanos is yet to try his luck in Europe, but he has bagged an impressive 53 goals in 130 games for New York City FC.
Leeds should have the capacity to splash out on so many new recruits due to the impending departure of star winger Raphinha. The Brazilian has been on Barcelona’s hit list for months, and having secured their top-flight status on the final day of the season, Leeds are now able to demand a much heftier sum for his signature.
There does, however, remain a tinge of doubt over whether La Blaugrana could afford such a deal, given that they are still struggling financially. Frenkie de Jong’s prospective departure from the Camp Nou could therefore be crucial if a deal for Raphinha is to progress.
Leeds could earn even more cash from the sale of Kalvin Phillips, who has no shortage of suitors since becoming a regular starter for England. Manchester City and Liverpool are thought to be among them, but the player may not be in any hurry to ditch his boyhood club.
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