Leeds United are reportedly interested in signing Sampdoria midfielder and Morocco World Cup star Abdelhamid Sabiri.
Leeds United are among a host of clubs keeping a close eye on Morocco and Sampdoria star Abdelhamid Sabiri. That’s according to a report from Sampnews24.com, which claim that the Serie A side may be forced to sell players due to financial restrictions, with a January transfer auction on the cards for their prized asset Sabiri.
The 26-year-old attacking midfielder has come on leaps and bounds since his injury-plagued, two-year stint at Huddersfield Town. During his two seasons at West Yorkshire, he only managed 13 appearances for the then-Premier League side.
He then joined former Bundesliga outfit Paderborn, and after a largely forgettable spell, he was moved to Italy, where he starred for Serie B side Ascoli and caught the eye of Sampdoria, who snapped him up on a short-term loan before converting his loan into a permanent move this past summer after he impressed during his temporary stint.
Since making his move permanent to Sampdoria in the summer, Sabiri’s domestic form has been generally disappointing, with just one goal to his name from 11 Serie A games. In contrast, he’s turning many heads with his eye-catching displays on the grandest stage in Qatar.
Indeed, Sabiri is currently enjoying Morocco’s unprecedented run to the quarterfinals of the World Cup. He has featured in all four of their matches in Qatar so far, grabbing an assist in the 2-0 Group Stage win over Belgium.
He showed ice-cold veins to score his penalty in the shootout victory over Spain earlier this week and is now preparing for a quarterfinal encounter against Portugal, with speculations of a move to Elland Road now doing the rounds.
The 26-year-old’s displays in Qatar seem to have piqued the interest of Leeds director of football Victor Orta, who has approached Sampdoria about a possible deal.
Given the Whites’ lack of depth at left back and striker, Sabiri isn’t high on Jesse Marsch’s priority list, but an extra body through the door on a relatively inexpensive deal could prove vital to having quality squad depth.
The 26-year-old is capable of operating as an attacking midfielder, central midfielder, or winger, which means he can provide cover for a range of positions. All in all, Sabiri could be a smart signing by Orta.
That said, the Peacocks are set to face stiff competition from the likes of Fiorentina, Real Betis, and Lyon for the attacking midfielder, with Sampdoria placing a €10 million price tag on their star man, while they are also open to accepting a loan-to-buy agreement.
La Viola are said to be the frontrunners in the race. The above report understands that the Serie A outfit have already lodged a €5 million bid plus one midfield replacement of their choice from Szymon Zurkowski, Marco Benassi, and Youssef Maleh. Thus, it’s safe to say Leeds have some work left to do if they are to win the race for their target.