Leeds United are now the frontrunners to land FC Basel striker Arthur Cabral, according to reports.
Cabral, 23, was first linked with a move to Elland Road last summer. The Whites were willing to pay €17million (£14.4m) to give the star his first shot at the Premier League.
But Basel held firm as they saw the Brazilian as being integral to their success during 2020-21. He did not disappoint, notching 18 goals in 33 Swiss Super League appearances.
He was also on target twice in the Europa League qualifiers before Basel’s defeat to CSKA Sofia.
Cabral is setting the Swiss League alight again this term. He is on 14 goals in as many appearances, with 11 more coming in Basel’s Europa Conference League campaign.
It’s clear that the player has a keen eye for goal, and could become a regular goalscorer in England under the guidance of Whites boss Marcelo Bielsa.
Sport Witness, citing Spanish newspaper Sport, provide an update on Leeds’ pursuit of Cabral. They write that Bielsa’s side are leading the race to capture him in January.
Barcelona have long been admirers of his talent but will not have the funds to complete a deal this winter. Blaugrana boss Xavi is also looking at Man City’s Ferran Torres as an alternative forward. That means a swap deal could take place between the two sides.
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Leeds have ‘overtaken’ Barca in the transfer race as a result. Club officials believe a bid worth €20m (£16.9m) will be enough to tempt Basel into a transfer this winter.
A move to Yorkshire would see Cabral compete with Patrick Bamford and Rodrigo for a starting spot.
The report details a major reason why the forward may be tempted to join – his compatriot Raphinha. The winger is now a full Brazil international, thanks to his electric form in the league.
Cabral is yet to make his international debut and would love to follow in the trickster’s footsteps. Elland Road may be the perfect destination for him to do just that.
Beckford heaps praise on ‘brilliant’ Leeds man
Meanwhile, pundit Jermaine Beckford has likened Adam Forshaw to a new signing for Bielsa.
The central midfielder is back in the fold after returning from a serious hip injury.
He has started the last three league matches and looks set have a big impact for the remainder of the campaign.
“He’s been like a brand new player,” Beckford said. “So much energy, so much hunger. I like that when Adam came in it was like there was nothing to worry about, nothing was missing.
“His passing ability, his movement, he breaks up play really well, he links up the game really well. A brilliant, brilliant football player.”