Victor Orta plans for quality Championship striker left in tatters as leading suitors emerge – but second £25m deal takes leap forward

Victor Orta, Leeds United director of football

Leeds United have reportedly fallen behind in the race to sign ever-improving Blackburn striker Ben Brereton Diaz with a European giant seemingly closing in on his signature.

The Stoke-born frontman has taken his game on to new heights over the past 18 months and ever since getting a call-up for Chile. He finished the 2020/21 season with an impressive haul of 22 goals in 38 games to earmark his potential.

That form brought him to the attention of a number of leading clubs, with Leeds and Everton among his suitors. However, with Blackburn commanding a sizeable £25m fee for his services, Rovers managed to rebuff all interest in the 23-year-old.

Unfortunately for Blackburn, their promotion challenge faded away last season, with the club ultimately finishing eighth and six points adrift of the play-offs.

That led to a change at the helm with former Newcastle striker Jon Dahl Tomasson appointed manager.

And the Dane has Rovers upwardly mobile again with the Lancashire club currently sat in second place, only trailing leaders QPR on goal difference.

Once again, Brereton Diaz’s goals have been key to Rovers’ promotion ambitions. And the striker already has eight goals and one assist to his name in 16 appearances.

Brereton Diaz’s deal, however, is due to expire at Ewood Park on July 1. And so far, the striker has shown no signs of wanting to sign an extension.

As a result, reports last month claimed Leeds were planning to make a fresh move to sign Brereton Diaz in January.

Per claims, Whites director of football Victor Orta is a huge admirer of the striker and was keen to snare him to Elland Road on a cut-price deal.

However, according to Football Insider, the Whites have now fallen behind in the transfer chase.

Sevilla take lead in Ben Brereton Diaz chase

That’s because it is Spanish giants Sevilla who are now at the front of the queue to sign the Blackburn star.

Their recently-appointed manager Jorge Sampaoli plans to make Brereton Diaz a top target for the LaLiga side in January.

Furthermore, the former Chile national coach has received several recommendations about Brereton Diaz’s qualities from connections in South America.

It’s also suggested they have already sounded out Brereton Diaz’s representatives over the potential move. And he is reportedly open to the potential move and is keen on a move to Andalusia.

TEAMtalk first reported Sevilla’s interest in Brereton Diaz way back in August.

However, it seems the appointment of Sampaoli has only strengthened their resolve to make the deal happen.

Sevilla have made an alarming start to the season and currently sit a lowly 12th with just two wins to their name.

They are also sitting in third in Group G, behind Manchester City and Borussia Dortmund. However, they could still qualify for the Europa League by seeing off FC Copenhagen.

And the promise of European football, as well as the fine weather, certainly makes a move to southern Spain appealing for Brereton Diaz.

It’s claimed Leeds and Everton will continue to monitor the situation, but for now, they lag behind in the transfer race.

Leeds back on Noa Lang transfer trail

Leeds, however, have reportedly received encouragement in their long-term interest in Noa Lang.

The Netherlands winger has been linked with a move to Leeds for two summers now, though a move is yet to materialise.

Back in summer 2021, Leeds decided against a move for the player with Dan James instead brought in from Manchester United.

And the 23-year-old came on their radar against this summer, only for the Whites to move for Luis Sinisterra instead.

However, their interest in the five-times capped Netherlands star has rarely wavered.

Now reports in Belgium claim his side, Club Brugges, are ready to listen to offers for the winger.

Citing a falling out with coach Carl Hoefkens, it’s believed the Belgians are now willing to let the player leave.

Brugges currently sit third in the Jupiler Pro League. But it is in Europe where they have really caught the eye with the Belgians causing plenty of surprises so far.

Die Scone currently sit top of Group B with three wins and a draw, having already qualified for the knockout stages.

And with Lange fading from the picture, a £25m deal may now be on the cards.

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