Leeds United will need to pay a club-record fee if they are to secure Ben Brereton Diaz this month…
That’s according to TEAMtalk, who claim that Blackburn Rovers want to see more than £30m before they would even consider selling their leading talisman.
The 22-year-old only has six months to run on his current contract but it’s believed the Lancashire outfit have an option to trigger a one-year extension.
Several teams have enquired over the possibility of signing the Chile international before the January 31st deadline, including the Yorkshire giants, West Ham United, Brighton and Hove Albion and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
United paid a record £30m to Manchester United for Daniel James in the summer. Meanwhile, only three players have commanded a larger fee when transferring out of the Championship – Nathan Ake (£41m), Ollie Watkins (£33m) and Moussa Sissoko (£30m).
Given the fact that Rovers can keep him until the summer of 2023 without any fuss, it seems likely that Leeds will need to spend big bucks to land a player that Bielsa is noted to be really keen on.
And ultimately, he’s someone that the Argentinian head coach badly needs.
As we’ve seen throughout the bulk of the 2021/22 campaign, Bielsa and his squad have sorely missed top goalscorer Patrick Bamford, with the England international regularly facing time on the sideline through injury.
Only five other teams in the Premier League have scored fewer goals than United this season and no player aside from Raphina (eight) has found the net more than twice.
Diaz, meanwhile, is having a standout and breakthrough year for Blackburn. He has bagged a whopping 20 goals in just 25 appearances in the Championship this campaign, adding to his seven goals and five assists last term.
As a result of his fine form, the 6 foot 1 frontman has been dubbed a “goal machine” by The Sun journalist Alan Nixon, whilst his manager Tony Mowbray has regularly waxed lyrical about his star at Ewood Park.
“Brereton with the ball at his feet is an extraordinary talent,” he once told reporters (via LancsLive). “He’s a wonderful footballer who can dribble with both feet, take people out of the game.”
In another interview, this time with the club’s official website, he said: “Brereton’s like a beast now, and he can score goals. I see it every day in training. He’s a brilliant lad and all our lads absolutely love him.”
On the above evidence, it could be a wise and shrewd investment, even if it’ll cost chairman Andrea Radrizzani another club-record fee