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Leeds United are targeting a move for attacking midfielder Toni Villa from Real Valladolid, according to local Spanish source Leonoticias.

The newspaper claims that the Whites are lining up a €4.5 million (£4.1 million) transfer for the playmaker, who would then be loaned out to former club Cultural Leonesa.

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As the report states, the Yorkshire giants are ‘included in the network of Aspire Academy’ alongside Cultural, a partnership that could help to facilitate the deal.

The signing, if it comes to pass, would certainly be one for the future and spending an extra year playing senior football in his native country would appear to be a sensible way to encourage Villa’s development.

Cultural Leonesa currently play in the second tier of Spanish football, having achieved promotion last term with the 22-year-old playing a key role in their success.

Villa made a total of 45 appearances across all competitions, scoring seven times including two during the end of season play-offs.

He played largely as an advanced midfielder throughout the campaign, but also featured in central midfield, on the left flank and up front.

This versatility is likely to be attractive to Leeds boss Thomas Christiansen as he looks to build a side to compete at the highest possible level over the coming years.

The Danish-born Spaniard’s immediate assignment is to secure a return to the Premier League for the club after what is now a 13-year absence.

Christiansen’s predecessor, Garry Monk, looked likely to achieve that feat for much of last season before a disastrous run of results saw them slip out of play-off contention in the final few matches.

Leeds start the new term with a trip to Bolton Wanderers on Sunday and play Port Vale in a midweek League Cup tie, before their first home league fixture against Preston North End next Saturday.