Leeds United are reportedly leading the chase to sign New York City FC striker Valentin Castellanos after Manchester City passed up on an option to sign the Argentina U23 international.
Castellanos is one of the most sought-after players in Major League Soccer, earning rave reviews for his performances. The Argentine also won the Golden Boot last season, scoring 22 times in 35 appearances as NYCFC claimed MLS Cup glory.
The striker has also no signs of letting up this season either. He already has 11 goals in 18 appearances to his name, increasingly speculation that his time in America could soon come to an end.
That form has, understandably, brought him to the attention of several Premier League sides. To that end, Newcastle, West Ham and Everton are all being credited with a summer approach.
90min, though, claims that Castellanos has been offered to Manchester City, with NYCFC part of the same parent company, the City Group.
However, City are reported to have passed up on the chance to bring in the striker. Having already agreed a deal for Julian Alvarez, the Cityzens have also struck a deal to sign Erling Haaland.
And with Gabriel Jesus also on their books, City clearly do not have room to accommodate another striker.
As such, Leeds United could be the chief beneficiaries with the report claiming they are ready to make their move.
Valentin Castellanos deal could move quickly
They claim the Whites currently have representatives in the United States to assess the qualities of another American player.
And it’s suggested Leeds may soon launch a bid for Castellanos to beat their rivals to the punch. A new striker is very much in their thinking as they look to address one of Jesse Marsch’s main priorities.
Indeed, having missed Patrick Bamford through the majority of the 2021/22season, Marsch needs to add to his attacking options.
United were forced to play Dan James up front on several occasions through the campaign. However, he lacked an obvious presence and know-how up front as the Whites dodged relegation by a whisker. To illustrate his struggles, Wales winger James finished the season with just four goals to his name.
However, the capture of Castellanos would offer Leeds the cover they lack for Bamford.
Their failure to add a new striker to their mix in January raised some serious questions among supporters. And while they hope Bamford will be fully fit by the time the 2022/23 season begins, the club do need cover and competition in attack.
As such – and if the price is right – Castellanos could prove a decent addition.
The striker has proven he has an excellent eye for goal in Major League Soccer. Indeed, he boasts an overall record of 53 goals in 126 games for NYCFC.
Raphinha, meanwhile, continues to be linked with a move to Barcelona, though doubts are now emerging if they will be able to finance his move at all with Leeds standing firm on his valuation.