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Leeds facing high asking price for Nigerian star

As one of the most challenging parts of running a club like Leeds United, signing players is never easy. The club holds a reputation and a history that arguably exceeds its current position as a lower-half Premier League club. However, that status alone is enough to often land players of good price – assuming Leeds are happy to pay the premium fee. Yet, in an era where players can be scouted much closer than before, there is often a little excuse for punts or gambles anymore.

The reason for that is simple – Leeds United have a massive analytics department that is tasked with finding excellent young players on a regular basis. This means looking to find players who might not have been seen by others as an elite talent, and who are good enough to play in the Premier League without looking to European contending sides. With that in mind, then, the move for FC Nantes wide man Moses Simon sounds particularly intriguing.

The 26-year-old has enjoyed a tremendous season in France, scoring three goals whilst setting up another seven from the wing. He is a Nigerian international and was seen as a player who could improve their first eleven. However, the challenge for Leeds is that other Premier League times – including Newcastle United are involved. This means one thing that every team hates: a bidding war.

So much so that reports in France suggest that Leeds could be facing a fee as large as £40m to do the deal. While Simon is definitely a good player, a fee of that size would likely be reserved for a player who can score more than three goals by March.

That being said, if Jesse Marsch and co. want to bring in Simon then the deal could be strongarmed.

Marsch takes in U23 game, spots potential talent

Though most coaches today focus on the first team, those with an eye for the future will appear at academy games. That is why it is not rare to see the likes of Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola at the academy teams matches when they can find the time. For Marsch, finding the time to go and watch the Leeds U23s take on – and beat – their Manchester United counterparts will have been a fun learning exercise.

With talk of signings for the summer, Marsch has likely seen some players in the U23s game that he could rely upon if he had to. Some of the talent in the game made a big impression, it would appear, and that can only be a good thing for Leeds in the years to come.

The Whites came out winners, emerging with a half-time lead and seeing it through to finish the game. Stuart McKinstry scored arguably the goal of the game, reminding people of the tremendous level of talent that he carries.

For Marsch, then, this game could be instructive for his long-term future at Leeds. With a bit of development, some of the young lads who conquered Manchester could be playing in the Premier League.

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