Orta already plotting January move for “exciting” £5m Leeds target, it’d be a big coup – opinion

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Leeds United remain interested in a deal to bring Jose Cifuentes to Elland Road in the January transfer window.

What’s the talk?

That’s according to a report by the Daily Mail, who claim that, despite a Leeds move for the Los Angeles FC midfielder failing to materialise over the course of the summer, both the Whites and Brighton remain keen on a deal to bring the 23-year-old to the Premier League in the winter market, which opens in a little under fourth months’ time.

Speaking about the reported interest in the midfielder, LAFC general manager and co-president John Thorrington said: “I’m not surprised to receive and hear of interest from high-level clubs in Europe. We, as I say, evaluate these opportunities on a case-by-case basis and we will cross that bridge when the appropriate opportunity comes.”

Big coup

Considering just how impressive Cifuentes has been for LAFC so far this season, it is easy to see why Victor Orta remains interested in a January move for the 23-year-old. If the midfielder is available for a reported figure of just €6m (£5m), he would appear to be a big coup for whichever club goes on to land him.

Indeed, over his 28 MLS appearances so far this season, the £9m-rated talent has been in sensational form. He has scored seven goals, registered six assists and created nine big chances for his team-mates, along with taking 1.9 shots (0.7 of which have hit the target), making 1.2 key passes and completing 1.8 dribbles per game.

The £6.1k-per-week Ecuador international has also impressed in metrics more typical of his position, making 1.8 tackles, 0.6 interceptions, 28.8 passes and 1.4 long balls and winning five duels per game.

These returns have seen the 23-year-old – who LAFC manager Steve Cherundolo dubbed “exciting” and claimed the “sky is the limit” for – average an eye-catching SofaScore match rating of 7.11, ranking him as Los Angeles’ third-best player in the current campaign.

If Jesse Marsch believes that Cifuentes could replicate this level of form following a potential move to the Premier League this winter, it would seem advisable for Orta to indeed launch a £5m move for the eight-cap international should the opportunity arise. The Ecuadorian sensation would undoubtedly make a hugely exciting addition to the American’s current options in the heart of midfield.

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