Leeds United have found how out much it will cost to bring Noah Okafor to Elland Road next summer.
According to a report by Italian media outlet Calciomercato, Red Bull Salzburg will demand a figure in the region of €35m (£30m) in order to part with the centre-forward at the end of the current campaign – when the 22-year-old is widely expected to move onto pastures new due to the amount of interest in his services.
Indeed, the report goes on to state that all of Leeds, Arsenal and AC Milan are interested in the Switzerland international, who himself commented on the speculation regarding his future to the Italian site, stating:
“[AC Milan are] a very strong team. We are talking about a great club, with a legendary history. Whether it’s England, Spain, Italy or Germany, each league has a particular charm. The same goes for individual clubs. When there is something concrete we will evaluate it all together, analysing the various factors.”
Considering just how exciting a prospect Okafor evidently is, coupled with Leeds’ one-time club-record £26m signing Rodrigo having largely struggled for form since his 2020 move to Elland Road, the argument that the Swiss sensation would make a dream replacement for the Spain international is an easy one to make.
Indeed, over the 22-year-old’s 12 Austrian Bundesliga appearances this season, the £16.2m-rated talent has been in “incredibly prolific” form – in the words of Jacek Kulig – scoring six goals, registering one assist and creating two big chances, as well as taking an average of 2.0 shots, making 1.4 key passes and completing 1.3 dribbles per game.
The £13k-per-week hitman also caught the eye over his six Champions League appearances, bagging three goals, in addition to taking an average of 1.8 shots, making one key pass and completing 1.2 dribbles per fixture – an extremely impressive feat considering Salzburg were in a tricky group alongside Chelsea, AC Milan and Dinamo Zagreb.
In comparison, while Rodrigo has scored six goals over his 11 Premier League outings in 2022/23, when looking at the 31-year-old’s returns more generally during his time in LS11, his true form can be seen – with the Spaniard’s return of 19 goals over 74 appearances for the club being much less impressive.
As such, with Okafor being nine years Rodrigo’s junior, in addition to the Swiss striker appearing a much more prolific forward than the 31-year-old, Victor Orta could finally bin the £8.1m-rated dud in a swoop for the Salzburg sensation next summer.