Leeds chief Orta admits following Nottingham Forest winger Johnson since he was 16

Leeds United director of football Victor Orta admits he’s long been a fan of Nottingham Forest winger Brennan Johnson.

As well as identifying options to immediately strengthen the first team, the Spaniard has recruited heavily for the youth ranks and Johnson has been revealed as one of his early targets.

Speaking Radio Marca, he said: “We have a project with the full support of the entire board of directors and the CEO.

“I identified that we had to anticipate and develop the ‘Anticipate Project Talent’ project with my scouting group of English people, who are the best in England. We had to reach the player much earlier because if we expected the player to make his debut, he would have minutes in the Championship.

Read more: Orta reveals promise Raphinha could not believe on day he signed for Leeds United

“Like Brennan Johnson now, he is a new Welsh international, the best young player in the English second division, he is already at 20. My model was to have reached Brennan Johnson when he was 16 and we tried.

“But it could not be. It could have been [Sam] Greenwood, [Joe] Gelhardt, Lewis Bate…We have paid for these players between one and two million, so we reached about 20 players”.

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