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Bielsa targets Kent and Cornet

With Junior Firpo in at left-back and the long-term future of Jack Harrison resolved, Leeds’ focus seems to be on adding a new winger to their ranks. And that’s bad news for Rangers, who may now have a fight on their hands to keep hold of Ryan Kent.

Marcelo Bielsa’s team consolidated themselves in the Premier League last season. They didn’t quite deliver what many had hoped after watching Wolves and Sheffield United upset the apple cart in previous seasons, but they finished strongly in ninth place, and have their eyes on a European spot next term.

Their rumoured interest in Rangers winger Kent stems back to the summer of 2019 when he was still under contract at Liverpool. Reports then suggested they attempted to sign him after an impressive loan at Ibrox, but it was Rangers who secured his signing for around £7m.

He took his time to get going, and his first season as a permanent Rangers player was a transitional one. But he was unplayable on their way to winning the title last term, scoring 13 goals and delivering 15 assists, and it’s no surprise to hear that Leeds are still tracking him closely.

The latest news on the situation comes from The Athletic’s Jordan Campbell, who claims that they ‘retain an interest’ in luring him to Elland Road. Signing him won’t be easy, however.

Gers boss Steven Gerrard, with Kent firmly in mind, recently claimed that anyone who wants to sign one of his top stars will have to ‘bring an army’ to the south side of Glasgow. On top of that, Kent has asserted his willingness to stay at Ibrox, and will fancy a go at Champions League football under Gerrard next season.

If Leeds are unable to convince Rangers to sell, then, they may look elsewhere. And reports in France suggest they are looking at Lyon’s Maxwel Cornet.

The latest on this comes from Olympique et Lyonnais, who say that Leeds’ bid of €12 (£10m) has been rebuffed by the French side. Cornet is a winger by trade, but he spent much of last season covering at left-back, and that versatility will undoubtedly appeal to Bielsa, who likes his players to be capable of playing multiple roles.

Despite the bid being rejected, Cornet would probably still be the cheaper of the two options. But Kent has been on the agenda for a long time, and looks like a more specialist addition to the side, so it remains to be seen where their priorities lie.

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