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Leeds face double competition after registering interest in 23-goal striker

Marcelo Bielsa during Leeds friendly against Ajax August 2021

Leeds United are looking into the signing of South American striker Agustin Alvarez and could make a bid in January, according to reports.

It has been a difficult start to the season for Leeds after their impressive return to the Premier League the year before. They comfortably stayed up last year but may be looking over their shoulders more now.

To avoid any risk of dropping into a relegation battle, they may want to sign some reinforcements in the winter transfer window if possible.

There are a number of areas they could look to strengthen. For example, bolstering their midfield remains a priority – especially with Kalvin Phillips currently injured. But another area in need of extra options is attack.

Patrick Bamford is also currently on the sidelines. Without him, Leeds have a lack of reliable options they can turn to. Therefore, it would be wise for them to find further competition for the England international.

According to La Republica, the answer may come from Uruguay. The South American source, cited by Sport Witness, claims Leeds are one of the suitors for Penarol striker Agustin Alvarez.

Alvarez is only 20 years old but has already been establishing himself at senior level. He scored 10 goals in his debut season with Penarol and added 23 from 40 appearances in the campaign that has just finished.

His form saw him handed a senior Uruguay call-up in August and he has one international goal from four caps so far.

Phillips to snub United for Liverpool

Phillips to snub United for Liverpool

While United may miss out on him, Declan Rice may still be the better option.

Alvarez’s potential means he is likely to leave his current continent behind at some stage. According to La Republica, he has three suitors from Europe.

Leeds battle Zenit, Fiorentina for Alvarez

The prime contenders appear to be Russian outfit Zenit Saint Petersburg. In fact, they are reportedly willing to make a €15m offer.

However, Leeds have also been looking into his potential transfer, as have Fiorentina in Italy. Both sides are said to have made “more important” surveys about his signing.

Either could make an offer when the transfer window opens in January. Leeds would have to put around 20m on the table, which is the value of his release clause (although the report does not clarify which currency this is in).

Alvarez is under contract with Penarol until 2023, but they may struggle to stand in his way if he wishes to leave sooner.

Bielsa has dim January view

Leeds United manager Marcelo Bielsa during the Premier League match at Turf Moor, Burnley

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday, Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa played down the idea of a busy January despite the side’s injury issues.

“Of course we didn’t expect these injuries,” he said.

“But I am always optimistic and I always work so the difficulties trouble us as least as possible.

“We have players coming back and have good squad options in [Charlie] Cresswell and [Joe] Gelhardt. [Mateusz] Klich is also an option as a offensive midfielder. [Adam] Forshaw can play as a defensive midfielder.

“With regards to signings, if there is any player the club is in conditions to bring in – and is better than the players at our disposal – then we will consider this. But we all know the difficulties of the winter transfer market. It is difficult to find players who don’t have a place in the team they are in.

“Whether this is an economically viable option. For these three conditions to be met is not easy.”

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