Leeds United could seal a dream deal after being linked with a move for Real Madrid striker Mariano Diaz ahead of the January transfer window.
Diaz is reportedly desperate for more minutes on the pitch between now and the end of the season after struggling for regular game-time, so a move to Elland Road could be on the cards.
Enticing the Real Madrid forward to west Yorkshire over the winter window would represent a dream transfer for Leeds’ director of football Victor Orta, given the 28-year-old’s previous exploits.
After rising through the ranks with the capital club, Diaz departed the Santiago Bernabeu in 2017 after finding the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karin Benzema impenetrable ahead of him in the pecking order.
The Dominican Republic ace joined Lyon in a £7.2m deal and proved to be an instant hit at the Ligue 1 giants. In 45 appearances in all competitions, Diaz bagged an impressive 21 goals, providing a further six assists for his grateful teammates, earning the praise of assistant manager Gerald Baticle.
“He’s a real goalscorer,” said Baticle to Eurosport (as relayed by Goal). “When others might want to make a pass, his first idea is to find an angle to shoot towards goal. All his play is in the centre towards goal.
“Of course, with his first touch, he has to raise his head more often to take in more information and make better choices. But in individual raids, he’s good because he’s capable of piercing the lines.”
His success in French football saw Real Madrid exercise their £33m buyback clause after a single season away from Los Blancos, but Diaz has struggled to replicate his best form back in Spain.
Since the beginning of 2018/19, the £9m-rated hitman has only started nine La Liga fixtures, receiving just one of those under new manager Carlo Ancelotti in the current campaign. However, his proven track record of finding the back of the net on a regular basis could make him the ideal signing for Bielsa’s struggling side.
With star striker Patrick Bamford out injured for most of the campaign so far, Leeds have only scored 13 goals in 14 Premier League games, an issue that Diaz could certainly help to address.