For pretty much the entire week, things were progressing just as you thought they might when it came to Leeds United’s pursuit of Juventus midfielder Weston McKennie. Initial interest was reported, the player gave his OK to a move and then things basically came down to the two clubs agreeing to a transfer fee.
On Thursday, that looked like somewhat of a formality after Leeds raised their bid and got it closer to the €35 million price tag Juventus reportedly want for the young American.
But on Friday, things might seem a little different.
That’s because Leeds United has reportedly changed up the formula of the deal and thrown a little bit of a curveball toward Juventus, according to Italian transfer oracle Fabrizio Romano. Instead of the €30 million plus add-ons that we heard about the night before, Leeds has reportedly asked Juventus to turn this deal into an initial loan with some sort of clause — option or obligation — to buy. Romano says that Leeds is still optimistic to get the deal done, but we haven’t necessarily heard of what Juventus thinks of this after potentially thinking this was going to be an outright sale for the better part of the last 96 hours.
Understand Leeds proposal for Weston McKennie is not permanent transfer — it’d be a loan move with buy clause ⚪️ #LUFC— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 27, 2023
Leeds hope to get it done after green light from the player but there’s still no full agreement with Juventus. pic.twitter.com/8xHqUxmQTw
While we don’t know the conditions of the buy clause, you have to believe that it is very much tied to Leeds’ status in the Premier League next season. While Leeds are obviously interested in bringing in McKennie to help the club not get relegated, there is a chance — at least as things stand right now — that they do get relegated, standing a point outside of the relegation zone with a whole lot of time left in the season.
And as you can imagine, the last thing that Leeds wants to see happen is a sequence of events where they sign McKennie for a good chunk of money, get relegated and then have to sell him over the summer because he probably doesn’t want to play in the Championship next season.
The catch in all of this is to see whether it is going to be an option or an obligation to buy and how much of it is tied to Leeds’ status in the Premier League next season. And if it is, then let’s just go ahead and hope that McKennie has a good second half of the 2022-23 season, can stay healthy and then help Leeds United stay in the Premier League.