Leeds United track £8m striker with Roberto Firmino traits, who is available on a free

Erik Botheim Norway June 2022

A host of British clubs, including Leeds, are chasing Norwegian starlet Erik Botheim, according to TEAMtalk sources.

The 22-year-old striker is one of Scandinavia’s top prospects and is a good friend Erling Haaland. And the attacker has become available on a free transfer, prompting interest from across Europe.

The Oslo-born Botheim was one of Bodo-Glimt’s star performers last season. And his 15 goals saw him earn a big-money move to Russia with Krasnodar. In fact a number of clubs were chasing him, but the forward told Sport24 that Krasnodar really made a play for him and they were “the most curious option”.

The centre forward signed in January for just over £8m and penned a contract with the Bulls until the end of June 2025.

However, due to the conflict in Ukraine, Botheim never played for Krasnodar and his contract was soon suspended. Then in May it was announced he had terminated his contract with the Russian club.

The player’s agent Jim Solbakken wrote on Instagram: “Erik Botheim has terminated his contract with Krasnodar with immediate effect.

“Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine is still ongoing. And in all the circumstances, Erik considered he had no other choice.” 

Now it is understood a host of clubs are readying contract offers for Botheim with clubs in the Premier League, Championship and Scotland looking closely at him.

Botheim likens himself to Firmino

TEAMtalk sources have informed us that Southampton, Leeds, Fulham, Burnley, Middlesbrough, Stoke and Watford are amongst the English clubs that are keen. Meanwhile, Rangers are also believed to have been informed of his recent availability.

Despite the interest from the UK it is also believed Botheim has interest from across Europe too.

Botheim, who regularly received call-ups to the junior teams of Norway since he was 15, is awaiting his first senior cap.

He recently captained Norway’s Under-21s though in their three games this month. And he scored twice and assisted once in wins over Croatia, Finland and Azerbaijan.

Botheim has likened his own style to that of Roberto Firmino; “We definitely have something in common.” 

While he also claimed to be “a little bit” like Robert Lewandowski with a “similar” style of play.

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