Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

EXCLUSIVE: West Ham, Leeds learn record breaking fee to sign lethal striker, as frontrunner emerges

TEAMtalk staff
Ben Brereton Diaz, Blackburn goal celeb during EFL match against Derby County

Blackburn Rovers want more than £30million before they would even consider selling star striker Ben Brereton Diaz, TEAMtalk understands.

The 22-year-old has bagged 20 league goals and is enjoying the best season of his career. That mark puts him behind only Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrović (22) in the race for the Championship golden boot.

Rovers insist that they do not want to lose Brereton Diaz – who has six-months left on his current deal, although the club also have an option to take on him for an additional season.

We understand that numerous clubs have contacted Rovers, asking about the former Nottingham Forest star. However, they have been quick to rebuff any and all interest.

Rovers are delighted with how Tony Mowbray has the team in automatic promotion contention and they are extremely reluctant to lose any players in January. Blackburn currently sit second in the table, but losing their star centre-forward could lay waste to their Premier League aspirations.

However, they are also fully aware every player ultimately has a price.

Aston Villa deal serves as Brereton Diaz blueprint

Aston Villa paid Brentford just shy of £30million to land Ollie Watkins in 2020. Blackburn believe that is a realistic comparison should anyone make a firm offer.

Surpassing the Watkins fee would make Brereton Diaz the Championship’s most expensive striker ever.

Only defender Nathan Ake (£41m) and midfielder Moussa Sissoko (£31.5m) commanded higher fees when transferring out of the Championship from Bournemouth and Newcastle respectively.

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Warm relations serve up early frontrunner

Brighton, West Ham, Leeds, Wolves and Burnley are amongst the club who have shown an interest in the Blackburn hotshot.

La Liga outfit Sevilla also looked at the marksman in the summer.

We understand Brighton believe they could have the upper hand in the pursuit.

That’s because of their close relationship with Blackburn. Reda Khadra and Jan Paul van Hecke both swapped the south coast for Ewood Park on loan last summer.

READ MORE: Bielsa nearing impressive coup with striker ‘undergoing medical’ at Leeds Utd