Leeds United

Leeds United

Premier League • England

Leeds striker search takes them to Real Madrid as ‘battering ram’ becomes target

Leeds target Mariano Diaz

Leeds United’s search for a new striker has seen them land on a Real Madrid ‘battering ram’, according to the latest reports.

Whites boss Marcelo Bielsa, alongside director Victor Orta, is looking to for January reinforcements amid Patrick Bamford’s lay-off. The Englishman has been out since September with an ankle problem. He could return ahead of the weekend’s home clash against Brentford.

Record signing Rodrigo has played up front in Bamford’s absence. The Spaniard got on the scoresheet in consecutive games against Wolves and Norwich City last month. But he is yet to replicate the consistent form which saw Leeds spend £26m on him last August.

A number of strikers are on the Yorkshire club’s shortlist, including FC Basel hitman Arthur Cabral. Leeds are reportedly winning the race for his signature this winter, which will cost €20m (£16.9m).

Cabral could be convinced to join so he can follow in the footsteps of compatriot Raphinha. The winger has become a full Brazil international thanks to his exciting form in the Premier League.

Goal, citing reports in the Spanish press, claim that a new centre-forward is on Bielsa’s radar. Real Madrid’s Mariano Diaz is the man in question.

The 28-year-old has struggled with injuries towards the start of the campaign, although an assist did come his way during his only league appearance so far.

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Diaz is surplus to requirements under Carlo Ancelotti, despite being an effective ‘battering ram’ against defenders.

The player’s dream is to become a first-team regular in Madrid, but he is unlikely to replace Karim Benzema as Los Blancos’ number nine. As such, a January transfer could take place.

Bielsa is reportedly in contact with the Leeds board over Diaz’s capture. It looks like the tactician will need to decide between signing Diaz or Cabral this winter.

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Leeds in three-horse race for midfield talent

Meanwhile, Dutch reporter Freek Jansen claims the Whites are in the race for Feyenoord star Orkun Kokcu.

He is a 20-year-old Turkey international who looks set for big things. The central midfielder is on one goal and three assists in 13 Eredivisie appearances this term.

Jansen claims Leeds are battling two European clubs for Kokcu – Serie A side Roma and La Liga outfit Sevilla.

It is not clear how much Feyenoord are looking for in order to sell Kokcu. But they may be bracing themselves for offers coming from a number of directions.

READ MORE: Bielsa role in Prem clubs’ transfer scrap ‘could place Leeds in box seat’