Leeds ‘planning to pounce’ on three stars including Liverpool and Arsenal target

Marsch 'always believed' Leeds would stay up

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Leeds United are eyeing Arsenal and Liverpool targets as they step up their efforts to fill the void Raphinha has left behind this summer. The Brazilian winger has departed for Barcelona after two seasons in a £55million deal, leaving Jesse Marsch in need of a worthy replacement as he bids to steer Leeds clear of another relegation battle.

The Elland Road club have been active in the summer window, in which they’ve also lost another major player in Kalvin Phillips, who has joined Manchester City for £50m. Six players have arrived for almost £100m in total, including Feyenoord winger Luis Sinisterra, but Marsch still wants attacking reinforcements.

And according to Foot Mercato, Leeds have earmarked three forwards to bolster the American coach’s ranks this season. The Whites are said to be courting Watford’s Ismaila Sarr, who is ‘tempted’ by an exit after the club’s Premier League relegation last term.

Watford seem open to selling the Senegal international at the start of their Championship campaign and have set a £29m asking price. Leeds are also eyeing Martin Terrier of Rennes, the same club they sniped Raphinha from in 2020. But they face competition from ‘several’ Premier League clubs, with Liverpool among those links.

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They could also return to the Netherlands for PSV Eindhoven star Cody Gakpo, valued at £25m. The report claims Arsenal have already enquired about his availability, so Leeds may have to move quickly if they land on the 23-year-old as their preferred target.

The West Yorkshire giants look set to do exactly that, though, with Marsch said to be eager to boost his options before the Premier League season gets underway this weekend. Leeds start their campaign by hosting Wolves, before games against Southampton and Chelsea make up their first three.

Despite Leeds’ free-spending summer, Marsch’s side are expected to face another fight to stay in the top-flight in his first full season at the helm. Other than the three newly-promoted clubs – AFC Bournemouth, Nottingham Forest and Fulham – the Whites are favourites for the drop.

Leeds fans will hope new signings like Tyler Adams, Marc Roca and Brenden Aaronson can take to English football quickly. And another exciting arrival in attack to make up for Raphinha’s hard-felt exit would only boost the club’s chances of avoiding a Championship return.

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