‘New Leo Messi’ is leaving for free and Leeds are favourites to sign him

When players are handed the label of the ‘new Messi,’ there’s a fair chance that they’re going to be something special.

The latest to have that moniker attached is actually another Barcelona star, Ilias Akhomach.

Not too well known outside of Spain, Ilias forced his way into the first team under Xavi, and only the signing of Raphinha has kept the tricky youngster out of the picture.

At just 18 years of age, it’s clear that he needs to be playing, and to that end, Sport, cited by HITC, note that he will leave the Catalan outfit in the summer on a free transfer.

That’s as much to do with Barca needing more immediate success at this point that anything else.

There’s sure to be a queue of suitors for his signature, but it seems the negotiations for Raphinha have put Leeds United at the head of potential clubs willing to give him a chance in England.

Raphinha left Leeds for Barcelona

Even if the Yorkshire-based club were to fall through the relegation trap door, that wouldn’t necessarily rule out a move to Leeds.

Being a free transfer means that Javi Gracia should be able to find room in the wage structure to bring in a player that would give his side pace, width and a consistent attacking threat. Precisely what the squad needs.

The comparisons with Messi aren’t just to be found on the pitch either. His agent, Horacio Gaggioli, was the Argentinian’s first representative in Barcelona when he was just 13 years of age.

“He is a great player with enormous potential,” Gaggioli said of Ilias to Cadena Ser, cited by HITC.

“They train him well at Barcelona, and he has a very clear head.

“He had several clubs from Europe looking at him at that time (before joining Barca in 2017). Real Madrid wanted to sign Ilias. He chose Barca.

“He is a great player with a huge ceiling.”

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