VICTOR Orta, Leeds United's director of football, reckons a deal for Saints striker Che Adams was close to being agreed in December.

The Championship side were desperate to bolster their attacking options in January and made installed Adams as their number one target.

However, Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl was keen to keep hold of the player that cost the club £15m last summer.

Hasenhuttl didn't want to leave himself short in the attacking department in case either Shane Long or Danny Ings picked up an injury.

Before the coronavirus crisis brought football to a halt, Adams had failed to score for Saints.

And Orta believes it was the 23-year-old's excellent assist for Ings against Leicester that led to Adams staying at St Mary's.

Speaking to The Scouted Hub, Orta said: “I have a player that the second week of December is really available for us, near to closing (the deal), and the second week of January he’s not available because he gave a nice assist against Leicester.”