Manchester City are hopeful that Leeds United will take defender Yan Couto on-loan next season, if the Yorkshire club win promotion to the Premier League, The Athletic’s Phil Hay has revealed.
The 17-year-old Couto is set to join City on a permanent basis from Coritiba in his native Brazil in the summer, and it seems the club are now making plans ahead of his arrival.
Couto has so far made just two senior appearances in his career, and City are apparently keen to build his experience further before throwing him into action with their own senior side.
That is where Leeds could come in, with Hay writing on The Athletic that City will look to send the Brazilian youth international to Elland Road on a temporary basis, if Marcelo Bielsa’s side – who were apparently keen on Couto before he committed his future to City – are able to secure a place in English football’s top-flight for next season.
As things stand, Leeds are in a good position to do just that, with the Whites currently top of the Championship standings, seven points clear of the play-off places with nine games of the season remaining.
Leeds and Manchester City do have a history of transfer dealings in recent seasons, with Jack Harrison currently in his second straight season-long loan spell at Elland Road from City, while Ian Poveda joined the Whites from the Premier League champions on a permanent basis back in the January transfer window.
This could be a useful deal for Leeds.
Couto certainly seems to have plenty of potential about him, and you only have to look at how willing City were to sign him despite so little first-team experience to see that.
As a result, you do feel as though Couto could possibly have the ability to make a positive impact for Leeds, and the opportunities this move could bring him in terms of game time ought to benefit the teenager as well.
However, you wonder slightly how willing Leeds will be to give him that at the expense of their current first-choice right-back Luke Ayling, who has been an absolutely key figure in their hunt for promotion this season, and would surely deserve his chance in the Premier League were they to go up.