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Leeds plot stunning raid on Spanish giant for Patrick Bamford replacement as 84-goal striker hunted

Patrick Bamford, Brentford v Leeds September 2022

Leeds United know which centre-forward they want to replace Patrick Bamford with and ‘will make a proposal’ if the Englishman decides to leave, according to a report.

Bamford has been on Leeds’ books since July 2018, when the Whites signed him from Middlesbrough for an initial £7million, plus £3m in add-ons. The striker has gone on to net 49 goals in 144 matches for Leeds.

He played a big role in Leeds gaining promotion back to the top flight in the 2018-19 season under Marcelo Bielsa, scoring 16 goals in 45 appearances as the team finished top of the table on 93 points.

The one-cap England international was also in great form during Leeds’ first campaign back in the Premier League, notching 17 goals as he played in every single one of their league outings.

However, in the last two seasons Bamford has been badly affected by injury problems. Due to this, it seems Leeds are weighing up whether to keep him at Elland Road beyond this summer.

Leeds director of football Victor Orta knows that if his team is to move up the league table in future seasons, they must have a more reliable striker leading the attack.

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And it is not only Leeds who are considering an exit. According to Sport Witness, who cite reports coming out of Spain, Bamford himself is also looking into whether he should find a new club with bigger ‘aspirations’. Presumably, this means that if Leeds go down, he will push to join a top-flight club.

Orta has already done some groundwork on Bamford’s replacement. The report claims that he has identified Real Madrid forward Mariano Diaz as a potential summer recruit.

Leeds eye Real Madrid attacker

Mariano has managed 84 goals in 222 games, having played for Lyon prior to his Real spell. But his contract at the Bernabeu is up in the summer Real have no plans of extending it. Therefore, Leeds will be able to snap him up on a free transfer.

Leeds are tipped to ‘make a proposal’ for Mariano, should Bamford depart Elland Road later this year. The only trouble is that West Ham and Nice are also interested in the La Liga man and could resultantly submit contract offers of their own.

If Leeds truly want to win the race for the 29-year-old, then they must put more money on the table than their transfer rivals.

Mariano Diaz of Real Madrid

Mariano would be a very interesting signing for Leeds to make. He has not made a big impact at Real since joining the club in August 2018 and has played just eight times this season. He has never operated in the Prem before, so it may take him some time to adjust to the style of English football.

However, the Dominican did enjoy a successful spell at Lyon before moving to Spain. He netted 21 goals in 48 games for the Ligue 1 side, which shows he can play an important role if given the game time. Plus, he has appeared in both the Champions League and Europa League, which should help him as he gets used to the pressures of playing in the Prem.

Meanwhile, a report has revealed how Diego Llorente feels about making his loan move from Leeds to Roma permanent.