Leeds United could struggle to keep hold of starlet Wilfried Gnonto irrespective of their Premier League status next season, journalist Pete O’Rourke revealed to GIVEMESPORT.
Gnonto has enjoyed a breakout season for the West Yorkshire-based outfit, but O’Rourke has tipped the youngster for a big-money move in the summer.
Leeds United transfer news – Wilfried Gnonto
In a report by Italian outlet Gazzetta dello Sport, Manchester City, Arsenal and Chelsea are all monitoring the progress of Leeds star Gnonto.
It’s claimed the trio of Premier League giants have been impressed with the forward’s first season in the Premier League and would be open to signing him in the summer.
The report suggests they see him as an investment for the future, with Gnonto – who is valued at £35 million by the CIES Football Observatory – expected to blossom into a top-quality Premier League forward.
That is, of course, if his future lies in the English top-flight, as further reports from 90min have hinted Gnonto is garnering interest from clubs in Italy.
Juventus and Napoli have been suggested as potential buyers for the teenager, with various other Serie A sides also taking notice of the Italian international.
Such interest comes just months after Gnonto signed on the dotted line to become a Leeds player, having joined from Swiss side FC Zurich for a bargain price of £3.8 million.
Fast-forward to now and regardless of if Leeds stay up or go down, a big-money move away from the Whites is being mooted this summer.
What has Pete O’Rourke said about Gnonto’s future with Leeds?
In a perilous position towards the bottom of the Premier League table, journalist O’Rourke told GIVMESPORT he expects a number of top players to depart the club if they go down.
Highlighting Gnonto as a player at risk of leaving, O’Rourke said: “It’s going to be really difficult to keep hold of their best players if Leeds do suffer relegation from the Premier League.
“Obviously there’s a lot of interest gathering in Wilfried Gnonto already from teams in England and also teams in Italy as well.
“So yeah, it’s going to be a real tough one for Leeds to keep hold of him because I think even if they stay in the Premier League, he’s going to attract interest.”
How has Gnonto performed for Leeds this season?
A fixture in Leeds’ Premier League line-up throughout the campaign, first under ex-boss Jesse Marsch and then incumbent manager Javi Gracia, Gnonto has racked up an impressive 16 top-flight appearances so far (Transfermarkt).
Alongside his regular presence on the pitch, Leeds have also benefited from Gnonto’s eye for goal, with the teenager having provided five goal contributions in the Premier League this season.
However, after picking up an injury while on international duty with Italy, Gnonto is expected to miss a chunk of Leeds’ run-in.
A blow for their survival hopes, manager Gracia will be keen to rehabilitate the 19-year-old as soon as possible, as the 2019/20 Championship winners look to avoid dropping back down into English football’s second tier.