Leeds United have a new striker in their sights heading into January…
Despite renewing his contract in Pamplona, there is a chance that the 28-year-old will still be on the move after the Qatar World Cup. His return to form post-injury has piqued the interest of Spanish top-flight rivals Sevilla, as well as the Whites.
As per the report, Avila has a €30m (£26m) release clause – as is the norm with contracts in Spain – and it’s believed that director of football Victor Orta is willing to pay around €22m (£20m) in what would be considered a ‘very generous’ offer.
The Elland Road natives have long been in the market for a striker, even seeing a late move for Bamba Dieng fall through on deadline day in the summer and whilst that was soon averted by the addition of Wilfried Gnonto, 19, he arrived with the future more in mind.
Further injuries to Patrick Bamford have meant that the forward problem has resurfaced in recent weeks.
The long-serving Englishman missed a large chunk of last season, being restricted to just nine top-flight appearances as Leeds narrowly avoided relegation a year on from him registering a 17-goal campaign.
Whites boss Jesse Marsch can no longer afford to rely on the 29-year-old heading into 2023, so it would make sense for Orta to priortise a new frontman and use his contacts in his home country to do so.
Avila would be an intriguing addition – across 13 league appearances this term, the uncapped Argentinian has found the net six times, including three from his last three outings. He has also done so by playing in multiple positions, potentially giving Marsch some much-needed versatility in attack, too.
Once described as a “wrecking ball“, the Los Rojillos forward isn’t the most towering of players at 5 foot 8 but WhoScored list one of his key strengths as being aerial duels and having won an average of 1.5 per game in LaLiga this term, that certainly appears to be the case.
None of Leeds’ forward options have matched or bettered this return in the more physically-challenging Premier League, whilst ranking in the top 3% of strikers in Europe for interceptions will match Marsch’s high-intensity, press-from-the-front system to a tee.
Being compared to two players that have proven their worth in the English top-flight is an encouraging sign that he could make a seamless switch in January, so if Orta can land his target, then Marsch could finally ditch the now injury-prone Bamford in the long run.