Italian news outlet Corriere dello Sport reports that Serie A side Lazio have registered concrete interest in Leeds United’s wantaway striker Wilfried Gnonto.
The Italy international was at odds with the Yorkshire outfit during the summer, expressing his desire to depart Elland Road after the club’s relegation from the Premier League.
Gnonto submitted a written transfer request to try and force a move away from Leeds, with relegation survivors Everton previously expressing interest in his services.
Leeds turned down his request, sparking a cat-and-mouse feud between the player and the club until an intervention from CEO Angus Kinnear, which led to the reintegration of the 20-year-old.
While talks of a departure have taken a back seat, speculation over the youngster’s long-term future in Yorkshire remains rife, with interested parties signalling their interest ahead of the January window.
Lazio are reportedly leading the race for Gnonto, with Maurizio Sarri keen to bolster his attacking ranks amid uncertainty surrounding the futures of Felipe Anderson and Gustav Isaksen.
Anderson’s contract runs out at the end of the season, and the possibility of an extension appears bleak, considering there has been no development on that front.
Isaksen has struggled to settle under Sarri and could leave the Stadio Olimpico in January despite joining the Serie A side last summer in a €12 million move from Danish outfit FC Midtjylland.
The Biancocelesti are also poised to lose Pedro when his contract expires next summer, which further underscores their need for attacking reinforcements.
Despite struggling to perform at a high level this term, contributing just a goal and an assist in 11 appearances across all competitions for Leeds, Gnonto has emerged as a target for Lazio.
Considering the enormous battle they faced to hang on to the Italian prodigy during the summer, Leeds are unlikely to sanction his departure in January.
It will take at least €20m to convince the Whites to do business, but Lazio will struggle to fork out that amount unless they sanction player sales to fund the move.