‘I spoke with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’: Leeds owner reveals he held talks with Swedish striker over January move before he joined AC Milan… and got permission from PSG to see whether Edinson Cavani wanted to join
- Leeds needed to sign a striker in the January window after Eddie Nketiah left
- Andrea Radrizzani revealed talks with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Edinson Cavani
- They were only tentative and Ibrahimovic ended up joining AC Milan instead
Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani has revealed he tried to sign both Edinson Cavani and Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the January transfer window.
The Elland Road side sought to bring in a new striker during the winter window after Arsenal cut short Eddie Nketiah’s loan spell, leaving Patrick Bamford as their only option.
Ibrahimovic was available as a free agent after the end of his time at La Galaxy, which came to a conclusion in November.
Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani has revealed he held tentative talks with Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Radrizzani also sought out the signature of Edinson Cavani during the January transfer window
He would eventually join AC Milan in Serie A, signing a six-month contract until the end of this season.
There was also a surprise report in December that Leeds had shown tentative interest in Cavani, who seemed to be on his way out of Paris Saint-Germain.
And while Radrizzani made it clear that neither move got very far, he did admit to having preliminary conversations.
Asked about the reported interest in Cavani during an interview on Sky Sport Italia, Radrizzani replied: ‘The (PSG) president had given me the availability to verify the interest with the player’s brother.
Ibrahimovic eventually decided to return to AC Milan as the winter window wore on
‘However, the negotiation never flew. I spoke more concretely with Zlatan (Ibrahimovic). He could give us a decisive push but he decided to go to (AC) Milan. He was very honest and transparent with me.’
Leeds ended up bringing Jean-Kevin Augustin in on loan from Red Bull Salzburg for the rest of the season.
Radrizzani did explain that manager Marcelo Bielsa would have had to give the final seal of approval for either signing.
He continued: ‘We must be rational and consistent with the coach and team strategy.
The Italian owner also discussed the strategy around recruiting players at the Elland Road side
‘I did not even discuss the ideas of Cavani and Ibrahimovic with (Marcelo) Bielsa because we had not reached that point to discuss them together.
‘Bielsa works with a team of 12 scouts, they have ‘their’ players every window and we discuss them.
‘Each player that has been signed is a mix between those on their list and the opportunities on the market. We always know the type of player Bielsa wants in every role and Victor Orta is in constant contact with him.’
Radrizzani was then asked whether he would consider another move for Ibrahimovic when the market reopened after the end of the season and said: ‘It depends.’
Manager Marcelo Bielsa would have had to give the final seal of approval for either signing
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