Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd ramp up interest in exciting striker Leeds want, amid January transfer declaration that doesn’t surprise manager

Ben Brereton Diaz, June 2022

Manchester United have reportedly become one of the main clubs looking at Leeds United striker target Ben Brereton Diaz, who has made his intentions clear.

Brereton Diaz shouldn’t be playing in the Championship for too much longer. His contract with Blackburn Rovers is due to expire at the end of the season. Thanks to his form in the second tier – and at international level with Chile – the 23-year-old should be able to aim higher.

In that regard, he has regularly been linked with Premier League sides such as Leeds United and West Ham recently. Further afield, Sevilla could be keen to take him to La Liga.

After a 22-goal season last time out, Brereton Diaz has remained in strong form in 2022/23. Therefore, the chance to sign him on a free transfer in the summer of 2023 – or for a cut-price fee in January – is appealing to several clubs.

Most recently, 90min has added Manchester United into contention for his signature. Indeed, the Red Devils are among the clubs to have sent scouts to watch Brereton Diaz in action.

They could be in the market for another striker if Cristiano Ronaldo leaves in 2023. Helping to fill the void would be quite a career leap for Brereton Diaz.

According to the report, there have also been visits from Tottenham Hotspur, Aston Villa, Brighton, Crystal Palace and Wolves. The interest from Leeds and West Ham is also referred to, along with long-term links with Bournemouth and Everton.

Clearly, Brereton Diaz has been putting himself in the shop window with his goalscoring exploits. He has nine goals from his first 21 appearances of the current season.

Thanks to his efforts, Blackburn Rovers are second in the Championship after 20 matches. They have a decent chance of being in contention for a long-awaited return to the Premier League if they can keep this up.

The risk of losing Brereton Diaz in January will be in the backs of their minds, though. There have been some claims that they might listen to offers while they still have a chance to raise funds from him.

They must balance any decision with how beneficial it would be to keep Brereton Diaz for their promotion battle. What’s more, replacing him might cost a significant amount too.

Brereton Diaz makes intentions clear

Ben Brereton Diaz of Blackburn Rovers celebrates after scoring a goal to make it 0-1during the Sky Bet Championship match between Derby County and Blackburn Rovers at the Pride Park, Derby

Perhaps thankfully, Brereton Diaz has now indicated he wants to take the decision out of their hands – by committing until the end of the season.

Asked about the increasing interest in his services, Brereton Diaz told talkSPORT: “It’s nice.

“But I’ve just got to concentrate on playing for Rovers week in, week out and putting the results in and scoring goals for the club.

“So at the minute I’m here and I’ll do everything when I’ve got the shirt on and work hard.”

And as for whether he will be a Blackburn player by the end of the season, he replied: “Hopefully, yeah.

“I’ll be there until the end of the season. We’re going to the play-offs.

“We’re trying to get promoted. That’s what we’re trying to do.

“We’ve all bought into that and the players are working hard every day and this is what we want as a club, for the supporters to get back to the top.

“So listen, we’re going to put the good work in until Christmas now, have a little break, and then we go again.”

Blackburn boss reacts to boost

The news has been welcomed by his manager Jon-Dahl Tomasson, who appreciates Brereton Diaz’s personal qualities as well as his technical traits.

Tomasson said, via the Lancashire Telegraph: “I think we have seen from Ben he’s a great attitude. He’s a great kid, and from day one he’s done a brilliant job for the club.

“I gave him a big compliment in the summer. There was a lot of noise, but he’s coping with that extremely mature.

“He’s a lad who loves football and being around his teammates every day and being at Rovers and doing well for Rovers. I’m not surprised because he’s a good boy.”

Could Brereton Diaz even stay at Ewood Park if Rovers win promotion to the Premier League? Tomasson isn’t yet ready to give up hope, although he knows it might be challenging.

He admitted: “Nothing is out of the question in football, I’ve been in this game for ages.

“He has a coach who believes in him a lot, he’s done brilliant stuff so far.

“That’s of course the situation, but as we know anything can happen in football.

“I would love that we keep Ben for five more years but it’s not always that easy in football.

“He’s very mature about it, very keen to do well for Rovers, which is important.”

Brereton Diaz’s overall record for Rovers reads 148 appearances, 40 goals and 13 assists.

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