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Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Tom Beattie

USMNT captain may stay put at Leeds United as 49ers Enterprises see him as “key” to project

The USMNT's captain Tyler Adams could be set to stay at Leeds United despite interest from Premier League teams on the command of the club's new owners.

The 24-year-old midfield arrived at Elland Road to significant fanfare in the summer of 2022 and joined a contingent of US internationals at the Yorkshire outfit under coach Jesse Marsch. However, the season turned out to be one to forget, with a succession of managers unable to stave off relegation back to the EFL Championship.

Adams' compatriot Marsch was dismissed in February with club sitting outside the relegation zone but the decision of chairman Andrea Radrizzani to roll the dice and bring in Javi Gracia failed to yield an upturn in fortunes. The Spaniard was sacked after 12 games in the hot seat, with his successor Sam Allardyce failing to pick up a point in his four games in charge.

Former RB Leipzig star Adams was a rare positive during an otherwise dismal season for the doomed club, however an injury in mid-March proved to be a significant blow in the run-in as he was ruled out for the remainder of the season with 12 games left.

Given his importance last season, it is clear that Leeds United's incoming owners 49ers Enterprises are not willing to let the 36-time international depart Elland Road without a fight. Expected to complete their takeover of the club in due course, the American group is eager to keep the the Whites' talisman to maintain a US presence at the club.

The investment conglomerate is the 11th wealthiest sporting investment group in the world, as per Forbes, and will take a full stake in the club in due course after previously holding a 44 per cent share. As it stands, the deal is still waiting for full approval from the EFL but that is understood to be a mere formality.

With coach Marsch having departed earlier in the year and Weston McKennie having already returned to parent club Juventus following an unsuccessful loan, the San Francisco consortium sees Adams as "key" to its plans for the project, according to the Yorkshire Evening Post. On top of this, compatriot Brenden Aaronson is also expected to leave on loan, with a move to Bundesliga team Union Berlin in the offing.

USMNT stars Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie were unable to keep Leeds United in the Premier League, with the Yorkshire side suffering relegation. (Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)

Adams — who led his country at the World Cup in Qatar last year — has not been short on suitors at the start of this summer, with Premier League sides Brighton, Everton, Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa all having been mentioned as potential destinations. According to Bola Vip, the New York-born midfielder is one of several Leeds players with a relegation clause in his contract, with a fee of £30 million ($38 million) likely to be fee required for this to be triggered.

After impressing during his 24 outings in the English top flight last term, it appears that the former New York Red Bulls academy graduate is very much in demand. Adams previously apologised to supporters for his current employers' relegation at the end of the previous campaign, tweeting: "It's not just been a tough few days reflecting on what happened.

"It's been a tough couple of months having to watch from the sidelines and be unable to help my team, teammates and you guys, the fans, to keep us in the Premier League. All we can say as players is we're sorry. You guys have been incredible all season and deserved more."

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