Former Leeds United sporting director Nicola Salerno has urged Lazio to offer Keita Balde a contract or risk losing the talented youngster.

The Senegal international has just over 12 months left on his current Lazio contract, and has subsequently been linked with a move to the likes of Manchester United.

Speaking to La Lazio Sia Monoi, Slaerno was asked about Keita, following the 22-year old’s impressive form for Lazio this season.

Salerno said Keita is a devastating player, which he saw first hand when he was working under Massimo Cellino at Cagliari. The Italian realised at the time the forward had a bright future ahead of him, but Cellino’s former right hand man at Leeds United believes it’s time for Lazio to tie him down to a new contract.

“He’s devastating, I remember the first time I saw him as an opponent with Cagliari. It was clear, he impressed me right away. They (Lazio) must give him the contract. If he does not sign it means a few clubs will be chasing him,” said the former Leeds United director.

Earlier in the month we covered claims from Italy that Manchester United were the latest club to show an interest in Keita. In the summer Lazio could be under pressure to sell the young forward, with clubs looking to take advantage of the situation. It would cost the Premier League side and other interested clubs in the region of €20m to sign Keita.

However with Jose Mourinho’s options in the wide attacking areas it could be questioned why they need a player like Keita.