Leeds United are closing in on their second signing of the transfer window, leaving them to concentrate on acquiring a centre-forward in the final week of trading.
Winger Ian Poveda is thought to have agreed a four-and-a-half contract to join from Manchester City and a free transfer is close to completion.
He follows 18-year-old goalkeeper Elia Caprile and effectively replaces Jack Clarke, whose permanent move to Tottenham Hotspur has been brought forward after an opening half of the season where he played just 19 minutes of Championship football at Elland Road. Clarke has since been loaned to Queens Park Rangers.
Coach Marcelo Bielsa was keen to replace Clarke, and Leeds have moved for 19-year-old Poveda, signing him on a free transfer five months before his Eastlands contract expired.
Poveda’s cv takes in an impressive array of youth teams and England caps from every age group from Under-16 to Under-20, but no senior football. He also qualifies to play for Colombia.
Predominantly a right winger, he can also play as an attacking midfielder or a “false No 9”.
The Londoner started at Chelsea and had spells with Spanish club Puerto Malagueno, Arsenal and Barcelona before two years at Brentford, then moving to Manchester City in 2016 for an undisclosed fee. Poveda scored two goals in five Football League Trophy appearances for City’s Under-21s.
Leeds’s remaining transfer priority is a centre-forward, where Patrick Bamford is their only senior specialist. They have suffered this season for not taking enough of the many chances they have created.
Eddie Nketiah provided cover in the first half of the campaign, but like their neighbours Spurs, Arsenal called the England Under-21 international back early from his loan because they were unhappy at the amount of first-team football he played at Elland Road. Bielsa had reservations about the 20-year-old’s build-up play, and this will have to be a consideration for his replacement.
The Whites would ideally like a player with experience of English football but have been frustrated by the high valuations put on many of their targets, and may now look abroad.
Meanwhile, Leeds’s Championship fixtures against Hull City and Middlesbrough will now be shown live on Sky Sports. Kick-off of the latter game has been moved to 12.30pm.