Leeds United are keeping a watchful eye on Ben Brereton Diaz as they look to secure a cut-price move for the Chile forward, according to a report.
The Whites enjoyed a solid transfer window, bringing in nine new names altogether. Eight of those signings were made in good time, with five of those in the side for Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Everton. Indeed, Brenden Aaronson, Rasmus Kristensen, Tyler Adams, Marc Roca and Luis Sinisterra will all hope to retain their places at Brentford.
Such has been what has seemed meticulous Leeds transfer planning, it came as a bit of a surprise to see them scrambling round on deadline day. Chief executive Angus Kinnear had suggested in his programme notes for the Everton game that a new signing was not on the agenda at Leeds.
However, an injury to Rodrigo, who dislocated his shoulder, blew his words wide open just a matter of 32 minutes into the game.
As such, the Whites were embroiled in a mad scramble to bring in more attacking options. First up was Cody Gakpo, who was the subject of a mad dash to Eindhoven by Leeds director of football Victor Orta.
Orta ultimately left the Netherlands empty handed after Gakpo had a change of heart and turned down the approach.
Then, with the clock ticking on deadline day, Leeds turned their attention to Bamba Dieng of Marseille. Their interest in him even prompted chairman Andrea Radrizzani to publicly confirm their interest on social media, when he ‘welcomed’ his signing.
However, that move also broke down with Dieng refusing to fly to Leeds and undergo a full medical. That decision ultimately looked inspired when the player went on to fail his test at Nice.
Leeds ready move for Ben Brereton Diaz
He joins from FC Zurich, with Leeds bringing forward their plans to sign the striker in January. Leeds are paying £4m up front with a series of add-ons and a sell-on clause further benefiting the Swiss outfit.
However, it now transpires that they are made an approach to Blackburn for Brereton Diaz.
The versatile forward, 23, is in the final year of his contract at Ewood Park and is of interest to several Premier League sides.
Leeds were one of those to make their move on deadline day; an enquiry from the Whites ultimately leading to nothing.
Indeed, despite having 10 months left on his deal, Blackburn put Leeds off by demanding £15m for the Chile international.
That price was more than the Whites were willing to pay. Everton and Fulham also saw enquiries dismissed on deadline day.
However, Football Insider claims Leeds are still very much in the hunt for the player. And they claim a January deal to take him to Elland Road is very much in Orta’s transfer thinking.
The Whites will continue to keep tabs on Brereton Diaz and remain keen to land him in January. By then, he will have six months left on his deal and could depart for a much-reduced fee.
Brereton Diaz has made it clear that he does not intend to sign an extension with Rovers, meaning he will leave at the very latest as a free agent next summer.
The forward scored 22 times in 37 Championship games last season and already has three goals in seven games this term.
Cody Gakpo off the menu for Leeds
A move for Brereton Diaz seems far more likely for Leeds in January than a fresh move for Gakpo.
Having being failed to sign him on deadline day, Leeds were reportedly still making plans to land him in January. The thinking for his summer snub was that he did not want to jeopardise his World Cup place.
But rather than keep a move to Elland Road on the backburner, that now appears to be off the agenda entirely. That’s because reports in the Netherlands now claim Gakpo is in talks over a bumper new deal to keep him with PSV.
As such, for Leeds United it’s a case of the one that got away. Their best chances of landing Gakpo, indeed, came and went on deadline day. As such, it appears unlikely they will ever get that close to the player again. That is certainly the realisation hitting Leeds and Orta.
All the same, Leeds continue to plan for the January window already. And it seems Ben Brereton Diaz is very much in their thinking as they look to bolster Jesse Marsch’s squad.