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Leeds: Victor Orta “monitoring” Pedro

Leeds United are reportedly keeping tabs on Flamengo forward Pedro ahead of the January transfer window, having been linked with the Brazilian over the summer.

What’s the word?

According to CBS journalist Ben Jacobs – speaking to GIVEMESPORT – sporting director Victor Orta is believed to be keeping a close eye on the 25-year-old, with the striker having also seemingly been a target for former boss Marcelo Bielsa in the past.

The transfer insider stated: “He’s a player that Leeds have been monitoring, even before Jesse Marsch came in, Bielsa really liked him too.

“At the point when Bielsa was tracking him, Pedro didn’t want to leave and thought that it was not the right move to go to a Premier League club. He wanted consistency where he was at. Now he’s found that form and he’s broken through into the international setup, as well.

“He’s scoring goals with regularity and it’d be interesting to see whether Leeds try and get ahead of the game here and if off the back of a World Cup, where he may or may not feature significantly, they choose to escalate that deal.”

The suggestion in the summer was that the Whites were tracking the two-cap ace, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano, while more recent reports have again linked the Premier League side with a move, with the player said to have a release clause of around £86m.

Solve Marsch’s problem

A notable issue for manager Jesse Marsch at present is the lack of suitable centre-forward options, with former leading man Patrick Bamford having been something of a bystander to proceedings amid his continual injury woes.

The Englishman has scored just two league goals since the start of last season as a result of his regular spells on the sidelines, while 19-year-old Wilfried Gnonto has only been used sporadically since his summer move from FC Zurich, making only three top-flight outings for the club thus far.

Although both Rodrigo and Crysencio Summerville have thrived of late – the pair netting 13 goals between them so far this term – neither man is a true number nine, with a new addition having seemingly become something of a necessity.

Bringing the aforementioned Pedro into the fold could well be a notable solution to that problem for the Yorkshire side, with the Rio de Janeiro-born machine having scored 29 goals and registered ten assists in the 2021/22 season in his homeland.

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That has ensured that the 6-foot-1 ace – who is part of his nation’s squad for the World Cup – now boasts a haul of 61 goals and 17 assists in 149 games for his current side to date, having previously scored 20 goals in just 58 games for Fluminense.

While the player’s only previous move to Europe lasted just a matter of months, playing only 59 minutes for Serie A side ACF Fiorentina after joining in 2019, the striker’s current form has no doubt raised hopes that he could make a difference if he were to link up with Marsch and co in 2023.

With Leeds currently just two points above the relegation zone, bringing in such a prolific talent could well be crucial in the battle for survival.